Dzavik V, Ghali WA, Norris CM, Mitchell B, Koshal A, Saunders DL, Galbraith PD, Hui W, Faris PD, Knudtson ML for the APPROACH Investigators. Long-term survival in 11,661 patients with multivessel disease coronary artery disease in an era of stenting: A report from APPROACH. Am Heart J 2001 Jul; 142(1):119-26.

Background: Studies of survival of patients with multivessel coronary artery disease (MVD) in the prestent era suggested that outcomes after coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG) are similar to those after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) in subsets of coronary severity. The purpose of this study of the Alberta Provincial Project for Outcome Assessment in Coronary Heart Disease (APPROACH) was to examine the association between treatment and survival up to 5 years in patients with MVD enrolled from 1995 through 1998.

Methods and Results: Data on patient characteristics were obtained at the time of the initial coronary angiography. Survival was determined through data linkage to the provincial Bureau of Vital Statistics. Risk-adjusted hazard ratios were calculated to compare different treatments. In the 11,661 patients with MVD, CABG was the initial therapy in 3782, PCI in 3540, and medical therapy in 4339. Cumulative 5-year survival was 91.4% with CABG, 91.9% with PCI, and 82.9% with medical therapy (P < .001). Hazard ratios were CABG: medical 0.53 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.46-0.71), PCI: medical 0.65 (95% CI 0.56-0.74), and CABG: PCI 0.81 (95% CI 0.68-0.96). Analysis across coronary severity groups revealed a benefit of CABG compared with PCI only in the group with severe left main CAD: 0.30 (95% CI 0.17-0.54).

Conclusions: In a multicenter clinical setting, MVD patients treated with revascularization have significantly higher 5-year survival rate than do those treated medically. Risk-adjusted comparison reveals PCI treatment to be associated with long-term survival similar to treatment with CABG in all coronary severity subgroups except the group with severe left main coronary artery disease. Patient selection factors are likely to be contributing to these findings.

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