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Catheter Cardiovasc Interv. 2008 Jul 1;72(1):54-9. doi: 10.1002/ccd.21522.

The COURAGE trial in perspective.

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  • 1The Division of Cardiovascular Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation, Rochester, Minnesota 55905, USA.


The indications for percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) continue to evolve because of the steady improvement in technology, broadened patient and lesion selection criteria, and new evidence from clinical trials. Recently, the role of PCI in patients with chronic stable angina has received considerable scrutiny and has been the subject of great controversy. In these patients, the goals of therapy include the relief of symptom, treatment of ischemia, and reducing the need for subsequent interventions. Medical therapy is the cornerstone in the management of coronary artery disease and should be optimized in all patients. The COURAGE trial investigated the efficacy of combined PCI and optimal medical therapy (OMT) versus OMT alone in patients with stable disease. The trial confirmed several issues that have been already well delineated: (1) in low risk patients, the hard endpoints of death and MI are relatively infrequent and are not reduced by PCI - for prevention of these, OMT may be sufficient, (2) crossover from OMT to PCI is frequent, even in low risk patients, (3) PCI is very effective in reducing symptoms and myocardial ischemia, and (4) significant untreated ischemia is associated with greater likelihood of death and MI.

(c) 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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