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A Journal on Heart and Vascular Diseases

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Angiology and Vascular Pathology
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Minerva Cardioangiologica 2006 October;54(5):633-41

language: English

Percutaneous coronary intervention in unprotected left main disease: a status report

Kupferwasser L. I., Lee M. S., Schapira J. N., Makkar R. R.

Division of Cardiology, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, University of California Los Angeles School of Medicine, CA, USA


Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) of the unprotected left main (LM) artery is currently not recommended as a routine procedure based on the history of inferior outcomes of LM percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty and bare metal stenting. Instead, surgical revascularization (coronary artery bypass grafting, CABG) is considered to be the gold standard. There is renewed interest in LM-PCI because of improved outcomes of PCI utilizing drug eluting stents (DES) in multiple randomized trials. Several single-center non-randomized registries have evaluated the role of DES for LM-PCI. Data suggest a low mortality and target vessel failure of ostial LM or mid-shaft lesions in contrast to bifurcation lesions, which frequently require complex dual stenting techniques. The complex PCI in the bifurcation is associated with the increased occurrence of target vessel failure ranging from 2% and 38%. The rate of target vessel failure in bifurcation lesions is less in patients in whom the circumflex ostium is not involved so that single cross over stent is suitable. Current recommendations call for a follow-up angiography at 4-6 months to detect LM restenosis prior to a potentially fatal clinical event. The question of the duration of dual antiplatelet therapy in patients who underwent LM-PCI is unanswered. More registry data and randomized trials are needed before unprotected LM-PCI can be routinely offered to patients as an alternative to CABG.

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