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CABG Ups Quality of Life More Than Drug-Eluting Stents

As with bare metal stents, less angina occurs with CABG than with PCI with paclitaxel stents

THURSDAY, March 17 (HealthDay News) -- Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) still has slightly better outcomes than percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) in terms of relief from angina and improved quality of life when the latter involves drug-eluting stents rather than bare-metal stents, according to research published in the March 17 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

David J. Cohen, M.D., of the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and colleagues randomized 1,800 patients with three-vessel or left main coronary artery disease to either CABG or PCI with paclitaxel-eluting stents to determine the effect of the latter on outcomes in this patient population.

The researchers found that both groups had significantly higher scores on two health-related quality of life questionnaires at six and 12 months post-procedure. The score on the angina-frequency subscale of the Seattle Angina Questionnaire increased more with CABG than with PCI at both time periods, though the between-group differences were small. The proportion of patients who were free from angina was similar in the two groups at one and six months but higher in the CABG group at 12 months (76.3 versus 71.6 percent; P = 0.05).

"Among patients with three-vessel or left main coronary artery disease, there was greater relief from angina after CABG than after PCI at six and 12 months, although the extent of the benefit was small," the authors write.

The study was funded by Boston Scientific; several authors disclosed financial relationships with pharmaceutical companies, including Boston Scientific.

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