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Am J Cardiol. 1987 Aug 1;60(4):262-6.

Value of exercise testing in determining the risk classification and the response to coronary artery bypass grafting in three-vessel coronary artery disease: a report from the Coronary Artery Surgery Study (CASS) registry.


To determine whether exercise testing can identify higher risk patients with 3-vessel coronary artery disease (CAD) whose survival might be prolonged by coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), the results of CABG were compared with those of medical therapy in 1,249 nonrandomized patients with 3-vessel CAD from the Coronary Artery Surgery Study (CASS) registry who underwent exercise testing. Analysis of 28 variables by Cox's regression model for survival revealed an independent effect of the left ventricular (LV) score, the final exercise stage, and treatment received on survival. Seven-year survival rates between medical and surgical therapy were compared among subsets of patients according to the LV function and the results of exercise testing. Among patients with normal LV function, those with at least 1 mm of ischemic ST-segment depression or low exercise capacity had better 7-year survival if treated by surgical rather than medical therapy (p less than 0.05). Survival was not different between the medical and surgical groups in patients without ischemic ST depression or with good exercise capacity. Among patients with impaired LV function, surgery improved survival in most subsets of patients with the exception of patients with a preserved exercise capacity. These results support the use of exercise testing in the risk stratification of patients with 3-vessel CAD.

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