Surgical versus medical treatment of occlusive disease confined to the left anterior descending coronary artery

N T Kouchoukos, A Oberman, R O Russell, W B Jones
American Journal of Cardiology 1975, 35 (6): 836-42
The results of saphenous vein bypass grafting and medical treatment were compared in 53 patients with stable angina pectoris, high grade occlusive disease confined to the left anterior descending coronary artery and normal or minimally impaired left ventricular function. Survival, incidence of myocardial infarction, relief of angina and response to exercise testing were evaluated. In the 29 surgically treated patients, followed up a mean of 24 months, there were two late deaths (7 percent) and five myocardial infarctions (17 percent). Twelve patients (41 percent) were free of angina and the majority had increased exercise performance when tested up to 18 months postoperatively. In the 24 medically treated patients, there were no deaths and one myocardial infarction (4 percent) in a mean follow-up period of 37 months. Six patients (25 percent) were free of angina. Less improvement in exercise performance was observed than in the surgically treated group. This subset of patients with isolated left anterior descending coronary artery disease has a favorable prognosis that is not enhanced by bypass grafting. Surgical treatment is more effective than medical treatment in relieving angina and improving exercise performance in the early years after coronary arteriography.

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