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OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to determine whether high-risk patients with left main coronary artery disease (LMCAD) and prior cerebrovascular disease (CEVD) preferentially benefit from revascularization by percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) compared with coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG). BACKGROUND: Patients with known CEVD requiring revascularization are often referred to PCI rather than CABG. There is a paucity of data regarding the impact of CEVD in patients with LMCAD undergoing revascularization. METHODS: In the EXCEL (Evaluation of XIENCE Versus Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery for Effectiveness of Left Main Revascularization) trial, patients with LMCAD and low or intermediate SYNTAX (Synergy Between PCI with Taxus and Cardiac Surgery) scores were randomized to PCI with everolimus-eluting stents versus CABG. The effects of prior CEVD, defined as prior stroke, transient ischemic attack, or carotid artery disease, on 30-day and 3-year event rates were assessed. RESULTS: Prior CEVD was present in 233 of 1,898 patients (12.3%). These patients were older and had higher rates of comorbidities, including hypertension, diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, anemia, chronic kidney disease, and prior PCI, compared with those without prior CEVD. Patients with prior CEVD had higher rates of stroke at 30 days (2.2% vs. 0.8%; p = 0.05) and 3 years (6.4% vs. 2.2%; p = 0.0003) and higher 3-year rates of the primary endpoint of all-cause death, stroke, or myocardial infarction (25.0% vs. 13.6%; p < 0.0001). The relative effects of PCI versus CABG on the 30-day and 3-year rates of stroke (pinteraction = 0.65 and 0.16, respectively) and the 3-year rates of the primary composite endpoint (pinteraction = 0.14) were consistent in patients with and those without prior CEVD. CONCLUSIONS: Patients with LMCAD and prior CEVD compared with those without CEVD have higher rates of stroke and reduced event-free survival after revascularization. Data from the EXCEL trial do not a priori support a preferential role of PCI over CABG in patients with known CEVD.

Original publication




Journal article


JACC Cardiovasc Interv

Publication Date





2441 - 2450


cerebrovascular disease, coronary artery bypass graft surgery, coronary artery disease, left main disease, percutaneous coronary intervention, Aged, Cardiovascular Agents, Cerebrovascular Disorders, Clinical Decision-Making, Coronary Artery Bypass, Coronary Artery Disease, Drug-Eluting Stents, Everolimus, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Patient Selection, Percutaneous Coronary Intervention, Progression-Free Survival, Risk Assessment, Risk Factors, Time Factors