The impact of the introduction of drug-eluting stents on the clinical practice of surgical and percutaneous treatment of coronary artery disease.
European Heart Journal , Volume 26 - Issue 7 p. 675- 681
AIMS: Sirolimus-eluting stents (SES) have recently been shown to reduce restenosis in selected patients. The impact of this new stent on the use of coronary bypass graft (CABG) surgery or percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) in clinical practice is yet unknown. Therefore, we investigated the impact of SES on the clinical practice of CABG and PCI in a series of unselected consecutive patients. METHODS AND RESULTS: Between April and October 2002, a policy of SES implantation for all procedures has been instituted in our hospital. In total, 798 patients were referred to PCI and 275 to CABG (SES group). A control group was composed of all interventions (806 PCI and 314 CABG) performed during the preceding 6 months (pre-SES). The main outcome was the occurrence of major adverse cardiac events (MACE) at 15 months. In the SES era, a significant shift was noted in the PCI group towards more multi-vessel stenting (28 vs. 24%; P<0.05), more bifurcation stenting (18 vs. 7%; P<0.0001), and the use of more stents (1.9 vs. 1.5; P<0.05). In the PCI elective patients, a shift was noted towards more three-vessel disease (pre-SES: 16% vs. SES: 23%; P=0.02). Furthermore, we observed a shift in the CABG group towards more impaired LV function (pre-SES: 34% vs. SES: 41%; P=0.02) and towards more three-vessel disease (pre-SES: 67% vs. SES: 75%; P=0.03). Overall, the cumulative MACE percentages at 1 year after coronary revascularization (PCI and CABG combined) decreased from 16.8 to 13.8% (P=0.03). The cumulative MACE percentages in the pure SES group and the pre-SES bare metal stent group at 12 months were 15.6 and 19.8%, respectively (P<0.01). CONCLUSION: The introduction of the SES has certainly had an impact on the treatment strategy of coronary artery disease (CAD). Increased use of these stents allows more complex coronary anatomy to be treated by PCI, and results in lower repeat revascularization rates.