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Rev Cardiovasc Med. 2014;15(1):24-30.

Reassessing the importance of complete versus incomplete coronary revascularization.

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The Lindner Research Center, The Christ Hospital Heart and Vascular Center, Cincinnati, OH.


Coronary revascularization may be performed for relief of anginal symptoms or, in specific patient subgroups, to reduce the incidence of myocardial infarction and mortality. Achieving complete revascularization of all significantly obstructed coronary segments has been an established goal of coronary bypass graft surgery (CABG) and more recent data demonstrate a salutary effect of complete revascularization following percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) on long-term clinical outcomes as well. Incomplete coronary revascularization is associated with increased mortality following both CABG and PCI, as well as with an increased incidence of myocardial infarction, repeat revascularization, and major adverse cardiovascular or cerebrovascular events following PCI. The relationship between completeness of revascularization and late adverse clinical outcomes is both qualitative and quantitative as reflected by the residual SYNTAX score (angiographic lesion complexity) following PCI. Thus, complete revascularization has evolved as an important objective for either CABG or PCI and the ability to achieve complete revascularization should enter into the decision algorithm for choice of revascularization modality.

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