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Am J Cardiol. 2012 Jul 1;110(1):21-9. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2012.02.040. Epub 2012 Mar 29.

Impact of routine angiographic follow-up after percutaneous coronary intervention with drug-eluting stents in the SPIRIT III randomized trial at three years.

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Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.


Routine angiographic follow-up after bare-metal stent implantation has been associated with an increase in coronary revascularization. The impact of angiographic follow-up after drug-eluting stent placement remains poorly characterized. The prospective, randomized, single-blinded SPIRIT III trial assigned patients to the everolimus-eluting stent or the paclitaxel-eluting stent (PES). Major adverse cardiovascular events (cardiac death, myocardial infarction, and ischemia-driven target lesion revascularization [ID-TLR]) at 3 years were assessed by angiographic versus clinical-only follow-up at 8 months ± 28 days and a landmark survival analysis from 9 months to 3 years. Of 1,002 patients, 564 patients were assigned to angiographic follow-up at 8 months ± 28 days and 438 patients underwent clinical follow-up alone. Three-year major adverse cardiovascular event rates were 10.6% in the angiographic group and 12.0% in the clinical follow-up group (p = 0.64). Ischemia-driven revascularization increased twofold at 9 months, but no difference was noted in ID-TLR for either device. Non-ID-TLR was significantly higher in patients in the angiographic group (4.5% vs 1.0%, p = 0.002), a difference resulting from PES (9.1% vs 0.7%, p = 0.0007) rather than everolimus-eluting stent (2.2% vs 1.1%, p = 0.36) treatment. The landmark analysis showed no significant differences between the angiographic and clinical follow-up groups from 9 months to 3 years of major clinical outcomes. In conclusion, routine angiographic follow-up in SPIRIT III did not increase rates of ID-TLR compared to clinical follow-up alone. Despite higher nonischemia-driven revascularization rates with angiographic follow-up of patients with PESs, none of the safety end points were adversely affected.

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