Background The prognostic impact of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (CRP) levels in patients with left main coronary artery disease (LMCAD) treated with percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) and coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) is unknown. We sought to determine the effect of elevated baseline CRP levels on the 3-year outcomes after LMCAD revascularization and to examine whether CRP influenced the relative outcomes of PCI versus CABG. Methods In the EXCEL trial, patients with LMCAD and Synergy between PCI with Taxus and Cardiac Surgery (SYNTAX) scores ≤32 were randomized to PCI versus CABG. The primary composite outcome of death, myocardial infarction (MI), or stroke was analyzed according to baseline CRP levels. Results Among 999 patients with available CRP levels, median CRP was 3.10 mg/L (interquartile range 1.12-6.40 mg/L). The rate of the primary composite end point of death, MI, or stroke at 3 years steadily increased with greater baseline CRP levels. The adjusted relationship between the 3-year composite rate of death, MI, or stroke and baseline CRP modeled as a continuous log-transformed variable demonstrated steadily increasing event rates with greater CRP levels (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.26, 95% CI 1.10-1.44, P = .0008). Similarly, patients with CRP ≥10 mg/L had a 3-fold higher risk of the 3-year primary end point compared to patients with lower CRP levels (adjusted hazard ratio 2.92, 95% CI 1.88-4.54, P < .0001). The association between an elevated CRP level and the adjusted 3-year risk of the primary composite end point did not differ according to revascularization strategy (Pinteraction = .75). Conclusions In patients with LMCAD undergoing revascularization, elevated baseline CRP levels were strongly associated with subsequent death, MI, and stroke at 3 years, irrespective of the mode of revascularization. Further studies are warranted to determine whether anti-inflammatory therapies may improve the prognosis of high-risk patients with LMCAD following revascularization.

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Journal American Heart Journal
Kosmidou, I., Redfors, B., Chen, S, Crowley, A., Lembo, N.J., Karmpaliotis, D., … Stone, G.W. (2019). C-reactive protein and prognosis after percutaneous coronary intervention and bypass graft surgery for left main coronary artery disease: Analysis from the EXCEL trial. American Heart Journal, 210, 49–57. doi:10.1016/j.ahj.2018.12.013