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Editor's Note
October 2017

Left Main Revascularization in 2017: Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting or Percutaneous Coronary Intervention?

Author Affiliations
  • 1Columbia University Medical Center/New York-Presbyterian Hospital, New York, New York
  • 2The Cardiovascular Research Foundation, New York, New York
  • 3Associate Editor, JAMA Cardiology
  • 4Editor, JAMA Cardiology
JAMA Cardiol. 2017;2(10):1089. doi:10.1001/jamacardio.2017.3154

It can be argued that severe left main coronary artery (LMCA) disease represents the only anatomic subtype of coronary artery disease for which there is clear and unequivocal prognostic evidence in favor of coronary revascularization across the spectrum of clinical presentation—from stable ischemic heart disease to acute coronary syndrome. For decades, the standard approach to LMCA revascularization has been through coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) given its ability to safely and effectively achieve complete revascularization. More recently, revascularization through percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) has been proposed as an alternative to CABG for traditionally surgical anatomy. Predicate data from the Synergy Between Percutaneous Coronary Intervention with Taxus and Cardiac Surgery (SYNTAX) clinical trial and other clinical trials have suggested that the LMCA may be ideally suited to maximize the potential relative benefits of PCI (less invasiveness, ideally suited for larger vessels with more focal disease) while mitigating its relative disadvantages (restenosis and stent thrombosis, especially when tackling diffuse disease). However, until recently, the prospective evidence base on which this assertion was based was limited.

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