BACKGROUND: Several studies have compared outcomes for coronary-artery bypass grafting (CABG) and percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), but most were done before the availability of stenting, which has revolutionized the latter approach. METHODS: We used New York's cardiac registries to identify 37,212 patients with multivessel disease who underwent CABG and 22,102 patients with multivessel disease who underwent PCI from January 1, 1997, to December 31, 2000. We determined the rates of death and subsequent revascularization within three years after the procedure in various groups of patients according to the number of diseased vessels and the presence or absence of involvement of the left anterior descending coronary artery. The rates of adverse outcomes were adjusted by means of proportional-hazards methods to account for differences in patients' severity of illness before revascularization. RESULTS: Risk-adjusted survival rates were significantly higher among patients who underwent CABG than among those who received a stent in all of the anatomical subgroups studied. For example, the adjusted hazard ratio for the long-term risk of death after CABG relative to stent implantation was 0.64 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.56 to 0.74) for patients with three-vessel disease with involvement of the proximal left anterior descending coronary artery and 0.76 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.60 to 0.96) for patients with two-vessel disease with involvement of the nonproximal left anterior descending coronary artery. Also, the three-year rates of revascularization were considerably higher in the stenting group than in the CABG group (7.8 percent vs. 0.3 percent for subsequent CABG and 27.3 percent vs. 4.6 percent for subsequent PCI). CONCLUSIONS: For patients with two or more diseased coronary arteries, CABG is associated with higher adjusted rates of long-term survival than stenting.
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