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Ann Intern Med. 1991 Jun 15;114(12):1035-49.

Bypass surgery for chronic stable angina: predictors of survival benefit and strategy for patient selection.

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Division of Cardiology, Harris Chasanoff Heart Institute, Long Island Jewish Medical Center, New Hyde Park, NY 11042.


The variable mortality risk associated with chronic stable angina calls for careful selection of patients for coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) if the aim of management is to prolong life. The randomized and observational studies done in the last 20 years have identified the variables relevant to patient selection and thus have provided a rational basis for such clinical decisions. These studies showed that the sicker the patient, as gauged by relevant measures of coronary disease and cardiovascular morbidity, the more likely it is that CABG will prolong life. A CABG-related improvement in survival is therefore more likely to occur the worse the left ventricular function; the greater the number of diseased vessels; the more proximal the location of coronary lesions (more muscle is threatened by such lesions); the greater the severity of the lesions as determined by angiography; the more severe the angina; the more easily provocable the ischemia or the more extreme the measures of ischemia; and, within limits, the older the patient. Greater survival gain after CABG also occurs in patients with peripheral vascular disease, in patients with baseline electrocardiographic ST-segment and T-wave changes, and probably in women. Thus, patients are likely to live longer after CABG if they have left main disease; three-vessel disease with left ventricular dysfunction (ejection fraction less than 50%), class III or IV angina, provocable ischemia, or disease in the proximal left anterior descending coronary artery; two-vessel disease with proximal left anterior descending artery involvement; and two-vessel disease with class III or IV angina as well as either severe left ventricular dysfunction alone or moderate left ventricular dysfunction together with at least one proximal lesion. When the decision of whether to do CABG is less clear-cut, the presence of peripheral vascular disease, female sex, baseline electrocardiographic ST-segment and T-wave changes, or older age (over 60 but under 80 years) should weigh in favor of doing CABG. In general, patients with single-vessel disease do not seem to derive survival benefit from CABG.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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