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Catheter Cardiovasc Interv. 2006 Sep;68(3):357-62.

Prevalence of unfavorable angiographic characteristics for percutaneous intervention in patients with unprotected left main coronary artery disease.

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Cardiovascular Division, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, Virginia 22908, USA.



The goal of this study was to determine the proportion of patients with left main coronary disease (LMCD) with unfavorable characteristics for percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI).


Published series suggest that LMCD can be treated percutaneously, however, the proportion of patients in whom PCI is an option based on angiographic criteria is unknown.


In 13,228 consecutive coronary angiograms, 476 (3.6%) patients had < or =60% stenosis of the left main. In 232 patients with unprotected LMCD, the clinical characteristics and angiograms were reviewed with six features chosen as "unfavorable" for PCI: (1) Bifurcation LMCD, (2) occlusion of a major coronary, (3) ejection fraction <30%, (4) occlusion of a dominant RCA, (5) left dominant circulation, and (6) coexisting three-vessel disease. Treatment modality and 1 year mortality were determined.


The mean age was 69 years and 68% were male. Unfavorable characteristics were common with at least one unfavorable characteristic seen in 80%. Bifurcation disease was the most common unfavorable characteristic observed (53%) and coexisting three-vessel disease was seen in 38%. Treatment consisted of CABG in 205 (88%), medical therapy in 24 (10%) and PCI in 3 (1%). Among patients referred for CABG, 1 year survival was 88% with similar rates of survival for those with favorable characteristics (86%) compared to those with at least one unfavorable characteristic (88%).


Most patients with LMCD have at least one unfavorable characteristic for PCI suggesting that PCI may be a technically difficult option for most patients with LMCD.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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