Abstract

Aims The purpose of this study is to compare the long-term outcome (up to 20 years) of coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG) with percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) in a consecutive patient series at a single centre. Survival is similar after CABG and PTCA up to 8 years follow-up in patients with multivessel disease, with a reduced need for repeat revascularization after CABG. As coronary artery disease is a lifetime disease, longer-term follow-up of these revascularization therapies is necessary to help clinical decision-making.

Methods and Results The CABG study population consisted of the first 1041 consecutive patients who underwent a first elective coronary bypass surgery between 1970 and 1980. The PTCA study population consisted of 702 consecutive patients who underwent a first elective coronary angioplasty procedure between 1980 and 1985. Mortality and subsequent revascularization up to 20 years were captured. Survival rates were adjusted using proportional hazards methods to account for baseline differences.

Results The unadjusted survival rates were 92%, 77%, 57% and 49% after CABG at respectively, 5-, 10-, 15- and 17 years and 91%, 80%, 64% and 59% after PTCA. In the multivessel disease subgroup, survival was similar with a benefit apparent after CABG in the first 8 years of follow-up. The therapy chosen, CABG or PTCA, was a univariate predictor of mortality in favour of PTCA (RR: 1·28; 95% CI: 1·10–1·49), but after correction for baseline characteristics, the relative risk of mortality for CABG vs PTCA was comparable (RR: 1·03; 95% CI: 0·87–1·24). The adjusted survival curves in the subgroup of diabetic elderly patients with multivessel disease were similar after the tenth year with only a slightly better survival in the CABG population in the first 10 years. Repeat intervention was more frequently required after PTCA during the first 8 years, but after this time more frequently in the CABG group.

Conclusion When comparing CABG and PTCA it can be concluded that both strategies are equally effective in terms of 20-year survival. In particular, after more than 10 years all differences tend to disappear. While repeat intervention was significantly higher in the first year after PTCA, after 7–8 years, reintervention was greater in patients who had initial CABG.

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Correspondence: Ron T. van Domburg, University Hospital Rotterdam Dijkzigt, Thoraxcenter, Location 5 Midden Rm H539, Dr. Molewaterplein 40, 3015 GD Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

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