UPMC Study Evidences Open Heart Surgery Superior to Stents for More than One Blocked Artery


University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC)’s Suresh R. Mulukutla, MD led a study to determine whether coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) surgery would outperform percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI).  The answer: Yes. The UPMC-led team disclosed that the data demonstrates a mortality benefit with CABG over PCI (stents). The results were published in The Annals of Thoracic Surgery.

The team studied data from two major cardiovascular-focused clinical outcomes registries including:

By studying patients with multivessel coronary artery disease who underwent CABG or PCI during the period between 2010 and 2018 at UPCM. They separated eligible individuals into CABG and PCI (total of 844 patients). The research analysis centered on mortality, readmission and revascularization outcomes.

CABG was associated with a 7.2% estimated one-year mortality rate while PCI totaled 11.5%.  The CABG group experienced less hospital readmission at28.1% vs. PCI at 38.4%; additionally for revascularization CABG totaled 1% with PCI data at 6.7%.

Core takeaways:

Patients with multivessel coronary disease should consider CABG

Patients with several narrowed arteries receiving CABG overall do better than those receiving PCI

Patients should always ensure a multidisciplinary heart team evaluates all options

Lead Research/Investigator

Suresh R. Mulukutla, MD