Background: Observational and randomized studies designed to compare surgical and medical therapies in patients with left main coronary artery disease (LMCD) have shown that coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery prolongs life in most patients with LMCD. The present report of 1484 patients with LMCD in the Coronary Artery Surgery Study (CASS) Registry extends the originally published 5-year surgical and medical group survival analysis to more than 16 years of follow-up and permits analysis of LMCD patient subgroups. Methods and Results: The CASS Registry contains 1484 patients with ≥50% left main coronary artery stenosis initially treated with either surgical or nonsurgical therapy. The 15-year cumulative survival estimates were 37% for the 1153 patients in the surgical group compared with 27% for the 331 patients in the medical group. Median survival in the surgical group was 13.3 years (12.8 to 13.8 years, 95% confidence limits) compared with only 6.6 years (5.4 to 7.9 years) in the medical group (difference, 6.7 years; p<.0001). Median survival was also significantly longer in the surgical group stratified by age, sex, anginal class, left ventricular (LV) function, coronary anatomy, and the extent of LMCD. However, CABG surgery did not significantly prolong median survival in patient subgroups with (1) left main coronary stenosis of 50% to 59%; (2) normal LV systolic function; (3) normal or mildly abnormal LV systolic function and a right coronary artery stenosis ≥70%; and (4) a nonstenotic (≤70%) right coronary artery. The 15-year cumulative survival for patients with normal LV systolic function in the surgical and medical groups was 42% and 51%, respectively. Median survival was 14.7 years in the surgical group and >15 years in the medical group (P=NS). In patients with normal LV systolic function and a right coronary artery stenosis ≥70%, the 15-year cumulative survival rates were also similar in the surgical and medical groups (40% and 48%, respectively). Median survival was 14.3 years in the surgical group and 14.2 years in the medical group (P=NS). The 15-year cumulative survival estimates for all subgroups were affected by convergence of the surgical and medical survival group curves owing to a disproportionate increase in the late surgical group mortality. Overall, 25% of patients in the medical group ultimately underwent CABG surgery. If all medical group patients had survived long enough, about 47% would be estimated to have had surgery by 15 years. Conclusions: This report, which extends follow-up of more than 16 years in CASS Registry patients with LMCD, shows that CABG surgery prolongs life in most clinical and angiographic subgroups. However, median survival was not prolonged by CABG surgery in patients with normal LV systolic function, even if a significant right coronary artery stenosis (≥70%) also was present. These results extend our understanding of the natural history of LMCD and permit a more accurate estimate of long-term surgical and medical group survival.
- coronary disease
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)