PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The aim of this article is to review the current revascularization strategies in patients presenting with unprotected left main coronary artery disease (LMCAD). RECENT FINDINGS: Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) is the current standard of treatment for patients with LMCAD. The development and refinement of techniques increased the number of percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI) in LMCAD patients. SUMMARY: Although several observational studies show comparable results of CABG and/or PCI in patients with LMCAD, there is currently no convincing randomized evidence that either one of the two is associated with better long-term survival. Recent meta-analyses of four small randomized trials revealed a similar rate of 1-year major adverse cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events, higher rates of target vessel revascularization and lower stroke rates for PCI. Pooling randomized patients studies stratified by lesion complexity strengthened the hypothesis that CABG is better in more complex LMCAD patients. However, the randomized comparisons are affected by methodological limitations and lack power to be conclusive. The ongoing Evaluation of XIENCE V Everolimus Eluting Stent System Versus Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery for Effectiveness of Left Main Revascularization (EXCEL) trial is expected to provide a better answer on the optimal treatment strategy for LMCAD patients. In the meantime, risk models need to be improved and the most appropriate revascularization strategy for the individual LMCAD patient should be chosen using a multidisciplinary heart team that considers not only risk models but also other clinical and economic facets.

coronary artery bypass grafting, coronary artery disease, left main disease, percutaneous coronary intervention
dx.doi.org/10.1097/HCO.0b013e3283583052, hdl.handle.net/1765/67342
Current Opinion in Cardiology
Department of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery

Osnabrugge, R.L.J, Head, S.J, Bogers, A.J.J.C, & Kappetein, A.P. (2012). Towards excellence in revascularization for left main coronary artery disease. Current Opinion in Cardiology (Vol. 27, pp. 604–610). doi:10.1097/HCO.0b013e3283583052