Journal 8, August 2002pages: 583-589
Background: Patients with multivessel coronary artery disease are candidates for either angioplasty and stenting or coronary artery bypass grafting. A prospective randomized study designed to compare the both methods included only a minority of the eligible patients.
Objective: To compare coronary artery bypass grafting to angioplasty plus stenting in patients with multivessel disease who declined randomization to a multicenter study (the ARTS).
Methods: During 1997-98 we prospectively followed 96 consecutive patients who were eligible according to the ARTS criteria but refused randomization. Of these patients, 50 underwent angioplasty + stenting and 46 underwent coronary bypass surgery. We compared the incidence of major adverse cardiac and cerebral events, chest pain recurrence, quality of life and procedural cost during the first 6 months.
Results: All procedures were completed successfully without mortality or cerebral events. The rate of Q-wave myocardial infarction was 2% in the AS group vs. 0% in the CABG group (not significant). Minor complications occurred in 7 patients (14%) in the AS group and in 21 patients (45%) in the CABG group (P < 0.01). At 6 months follow-up the incidence of major cardiac and cerebral events was similar in both groups (11% and 4% in the AS and CABG groups respectively, P=NS). Seventeen patients (36%) in the AS group required repeat revascularization compared to only 3 (7%) in the CABG group (P=0.002). Nevertheless, quality of life was better, hospitalization was shorter and the cost was lower during the first 6 months after angioplasty.
Conclusion: Angioplasty with stenting compared to coronary bypass surgery in patients with multivessel disease resulted in similar short-term major complications. However, 36% of patients undergoing angioplasty may need further revascularization procedures during the first 6 months.
 AS = angioplasty + stenting
 CABG = coronary artery bypass graft