Randomized trials have compared revascularization of coronary artery disease by coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG) or percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). CABG is an expensive treatment. However, it manages to improve quality of life, restore general well being, and alleviate symptoms of patients. Coronary stents have improved the safety and durability of PCI. Nonetheless, stenting remains limited by a relatively high in-stent restenosis and thrombosis rate. The costs and cost-effectiveness for these different treatment modalities are relevant issues because cardiovascular disease and its management are prime targets for cost reduction initiatives. There is a debate as to which is the optimal treatment strategy as well as to the cost-effectiveness comparing CABG and PCI. This review provides an overview of cost-effectiveness of CABG compared with PCI. PCI has high costs due to the need for subsequent revascularization procedures, with absence of mortality and survival benefit compared with CABG. Despite the relative lower initial costs of PCI in the first year, PCI is not a cost-effective intervention in comparison with CABG. However, the studies undertaken to date have predominantly been short term and provide a very limited evidence base by which to assess the cost-effectiveness of modern clinical practice. It seems that in longer term, the benefits of CABG may exceed those of stenting and the difference in net cost may be in favour of CABG as the risk of repeat revascularization still increases with PCI regardless of the use of DES. However, to date no long-term data are available in cost-effectiveness between CABG and PCI. The 5-year outcome of the ongoing SYNTAX trial is essential and might therefore provide new insights into the comparison of cost-effectiveness between CABG and DES PCI.

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The Journal of Cardiovascular Surgery: a journal on cardiac, vascular and thoracic surgery
Department of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery

Birim, O., Bogers, A., & Kappetein, A. P. (2012). Comparing cost aspects of coronary artery bypass graft surgery with coronary artery stenting. The Journal of Cardiovascular Surgery: a journal on cardiac, vascular and thoracic surgery (Vol. 53, pp. 641–650). Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/92244