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Circulation. 2005 Jun 7;111(22):2906-12. Epub 2005 May 31.

Percutaneous coronary intervention versus conservative therapy in nonacute coronary artery disease: a meta-analysis.

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Department of Cardiology, Athens Euroclinic, Athens, Greece.



Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) has been shown to improve symptoms compared with conservative medical treatment in patients with stable coronary artery disease (CAD); however, there is limited evidence on the effect of PCI on the risk of death, myocardial infarction, and subsequent revascularization. Therefore, we performed a meta-analysis of 11 randomized trials comparing PCI to conservative treatment in patients with stable CAD.


A total of 2950 patients were included in the meta-analysis (1476 received PCI, and 1474 received conservative treatment). There was no significant difference between the 2 treatment strategies with regard to mortality, cardiac death or myocardial infarction, nonfatal myocardial infarction, CABG, or PCI during follow-up. By random effects, the risk ratios (95% CIs) for the PCI versus conservative treatment arms were 0.94 (0.72 to 1.24), 1.17 (0.88 to 1.57), 1.28 (0.94 to 1.75), 1.03 (0.80 to 1.33), and 1.23 (0.80 to 1.90) for these 5 outcomes, respectively. A possible survival benefit was seen for PCI only in trials of patients who had a relatively recent myocardial infarction (risk ratio 0.40, 95% CI 0.17 to 0.95). Except for PCI during follow-up, there was no significant between-study heterogeneity for any outcome.


In patients with chronic stable CAD, in the absence of a recent myocardial infarction, PCI does not offer any benefit in terms of death, myocardial infarction, or the need for subsequent revascularization compared with conservative medical treatment.

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