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Patients with major or symptomatic coronary artery disease (CAD) commonly undergo revascularization-either with CABG surgery, which has been the mainstay of revascularization for more than half a century, or with percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), which has become the more-commonly used strategy in the past decade. PCI has been tested in more randomized clinical trials than any other procedure in contemporary practice. In general, PCI is the preferred option for treating patients with simple coronary artery lesions and CABG surgery remains the standard of care for patients with complex CAD. Technical advancements in PCI and CABG surgery make comparisons of historical data for these strategies difficult. In this Review, we evaluate the evidence-based use of PCI and CABG surgery in treating patients with multivessel and unprotected left main stem disease and for specific patient groups, including those with diabetes mellitus, chronic heart failure, or chronic kidney disease. Finally, we highlight the available tools to aid decision-making, including clinical guidelines, risk scoring systems, and the role of the 'heart team'. © 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

Original publication




Journal article


Nature Reviews Cardiology

Publication Date





635 - 647