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Circulation. 2002 May 21;105(20):2367-72.

Bypass surgery versus stenting for the treatment of multivessel disease in patients with unstable angina compared with stable angina.

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  • 1University Hospital Rotterdam, Dijkzigt, Thoraxcenter, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.



Earlier reports have shown that the outcome of balloon angioplasty or bypass surgery in unstable angina is less favorable than in stable angina. Recent improvements in percutaneous treatment (stent implantation) and bypass surgery (arterial grafts) warrant reevaluation of the relative merits of either technique in treatment of unstable angina. Methods and Results- Seven hundred fifty-five patients with stable angina were randomly assigned to coronary stenting (374) or bypass surgery (381), and 450 patients with unstable angina were randomly assigned to coronary stenting (226) or bypass surgery (224). All patients had multivessel disease considered to be equally treatable by either technique. Freedom from major adverse events, including death, myocardial infarction, and cerebrovascular events, at 1 year was not different in unstable patients (91.2% versus 88.9%) and stable patients (90.4% versus 92.6%) treated, respectively, with coronary stenting or bypass surgery. Freedom from repeat revascularization at 1 year was similar in unstable and stable angina treated with stenting (79.2% versus 78.9%) or bypass surgery (96.3% versus 96%) but was significantly higher in both unstable and stable patients treated with stenting (16.8% versus 16.9%) compared with bypass surgery (3.6% versus 3.5%). Neither the difference in costs between stented or bypassed stable or unstable angina ($2594 versus $3627) nor the cost-effectiveness was significantly different at 1 year.


There was no difference in rates of death, myocardial infarction, and cerebrovascular event at 1 year in patients with unstable angina and multivessel disease treated with either stented angioplasty or bypass surgery compared with patients with stable angina. The rate of repeat revascularization of both unstable and stable angina was significantly higher in patients with stents.

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