Background The anatomical SYNTAX score is advocated in European and US guidelines as an instrument to help clinicians decide the optimum revascularisation method in patients with complex coronary artery disease. The absence of an individualised approach and of clinical variables to guide decision making between coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG) and percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) are limitations of the SYNTAX score. SYNTAX score II aimed to overcome these limitations. Methods SYNTAX score II was developed by applying a Cox proportional hazards model to results of the randomised all comers SYNTAX trial (n=1800). Baseline features with strong associations to 4-year mortality in either the CABG or the PCI settings (interactions), or in both (predictive accuracy), were added to the anatomical SYNTAX score. Comparisons of 4-year mortality predictions between CABG and PCI were made for each patient. Discriminatory performance was quantified by concordance statistics and internally validated with bootstrap resampling. External validation was done in the multinational all comers DELTA registry (n=2891), a heterogeneous population that included patients with three-vessel disease (26%) or complex coronary artery disease (anatomical SYNTAX score.33, 30%) who underwent CABG or PCI. The SYNTAX trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00114972. Findings SYNTAX score II contained eight predictors: anatomical SYNTAX score, age, creatinine clearance, left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), presence of unprotected left main coronary artery (ULMCA) disease, peripheral vascular disease, female sex, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). SYNTAX score II significantly predicted a difference in 4-year mortality between patients undergoing CABG and those undergoing PCI (pinteraction 0.0037). To achieve similar 4-year mortality after CABG or PCI, younger patients, women, and patients with reduced LVEF required lower anatomical SYNTAX scores, whereas older patients, patients with ULMCA disease, and those with COPD, required higher anatomical SYNTAX scores. Presence of diabetes was not important for decision making between CABG and PCI (pinteraction 0.67). SYNTAX score II discriminated well in all patients who underwent CABG or PCI, with concordance indices for internal (SYNTAX trial) validation of 0.725 and for external (DELTA registry) validation of 0.716, which were substantially higher than for the anatomical SYNTAX score alone (concordance indices of 0.567 and 0.612, respectively). A nomogram was constructed that allowed for an accurate individualised prediction of 4-year mortality in patients proposing to undergo CABG or PCI. Interpretation Long-term (4-year) mortality in patients with complex coronary artery disease can be well predicted by a combination of anatomical and clinical factors in SYNTAX score II. SYNTAX score II can better guide decision making between CABG and PCI than the original anatomical SYNTAX score. Funding Boston Scientific Corporation.
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