Coronary surgery after recurrent myocardial infarction: progress of a trial comparing surgical with nonsurgical management for asymptomatic patients with advanced coronary disease.
A randomized trial of surgical vs nonsurgical management was carried out in men 60 years of age or younger who had recovered from a recurrent myocardial infarction. Of 205 patients considered, 100 had few or no symptoms and had coronary vessels favorable for bypass grafting; these patients fulfilled the trial conditions and were randomized (50 surgical and 50 nonsurgical). In 41 patients (elective nonsurgical group), randomization was not considered justifiable because of relatively unfavorable coronary anatomy or severe left ventricular dysfunction. Nineteen patients had elective surgery because of disabling angina despite full medical treatment or because of significant left main coronary stenosis. In 45 patients, coronary angiography was not undertaken because of medical contraindications or reluctance of the patient to enter the study. Actuarial survival curves (mean follow-up 4.5 years) show an annual mortality rate of 3-4% per year for all investigated patients, and no advantage for the randomized surgical over the randomized nonsurgical group. The results suggest that in the absence of disabling angina or left main coronary artery stenosis, coronary artery surgery need not be advised for survivors of recurrent infarctions who have severe coronary artery disease. Moreover, the prognosis for the group of patients not treated surgically appears to be better than has been previously described.
- Copyright © 1981 by American Heart Association