Journal Article
Randomized Controlled Trial
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Systematic strategy of prophylactic coronary angiography improves long-term outcome after major vascular surgery in medium- to high-risk patients: a prospective, randomized study.

OBJECTIVES: This study was undertaken to determine the impact of a strategy of systematic coronary angiography on immediate- and long-term outcome of patients at medium-high risk who were undergoing surgical treatment of peripheral arterial disease.

BACKGROUND: Despite pre-operative risk stratification according to the current guidelines, vascular surgery patients still represent a high-risk population, as 30-day cardiovascular complications and mortality rates still remain as high as 15% to 20% and 3% to 5%, respectively.

METHODS: In all, 208 consecutive patients scheduled for elective surgical treatment of major vascular disease and with a revised cardiac risk index > or =2 were randomly allocated to either a "selective strategy" group (group A, n = 103), in whom coronary angiography was performed based on the results of noninvasive tests, or to a "systematic strategy" group (group B, n = 105), consisting of patients who systematically underwent pre-operative coronary angiography.

RESULTS: The 2 groups were similar with respect to baseline clinical characteristics, revised cardiac risk index, and type of vascular surgery performed. The myocardial revascularization rate in group B was higher than in group A (58.1% vs. 40.1%; p = 0.01). In-hospital major adverse cardiovascular event rate was not significantly lower in group B (p = 0.07). At 58 +/- 17 months of follow-up, group B showed significantly better survival (p = 0.01) and freedom from death/cardiovascular events (p = 0.003).

CONCLUSIONS: In this study, a strategy of routine coronary angiography positively impacted long-term outcome of peripheral arterial disease surgical patients at medium-high risk. This is the first such demonstration in a randomized, prospective trial. Multicenter trials to confirm this finding in a larger population are warranted.

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