Objectives. This study investigates whether repeat coronary interventions, applied over an extended time period, can successfully curtail the progression of ischemic symptoms and angiographic lumen narrowing. Background. Coronary artery disease is a chronic and generally progressive disorder, and potential treatment strategies should be examined and compared with this chronicity in mind. Percutaneous interventional revascularization procedures could theoretically be useful in controlling progression of the disease through repeated use as new coronary lesions arise. However, the outcome of this long-term management concept has not previously been subjected to detailed investigation. Methods. From a consecutive series of 4,357 interventional cardiac procedures, 544 patients were identified who received two or more interventions during the 13-year study period. These patients were categorized into one of three groups: restenosis (repeat interventions limited to the same target segment, n = 261), new stenosis (all repeat interventions directed to stenoses not previously treated, n = 155) or both (repeat interventions directed both to the same and to different target lesions, n = 128). Results. Two to five procedures were performed per patient; the time period (mean ± SD) separating each procedure was significantly less (p < 0.0001) for the restenosis group (4.2 ± 2.3 months) than for the new stenosis (24.2 ± 23.5 months) or the 'both' groups (11.4 ± 11.0 months). Despite the need for repeat procedures, the severity of angina (mean New York Heart Association functional class 1.6 ± 0.9) after 6.2 ± 2.3 years of follow-up was substantially better than before the initial procedure (mean functional class 3.2 ± 0.8), with a similar magnitude of change found in all three groups. This long-term functional improvement was mirrored by a corresponding anatomic improvement, with the mean number of diseased vessels remaining constant at the time of each procedure (1.5 ± 0.7, 1.5 ± 0.7 and 1.6 ± 0.7, respectively, for the first, second and third procedures, p = NS). The restenosis and the new stenosis groups also demonstrated statistically similar annual rates of mortality (1.9% vs. 1.8%) and coronary surgery (2.3% vs. 2.6%), although the restenosis group had a lower rate of infarction (1.4% vs. 3.2%, p = 0.002). Conclusions. Repeat interventional treatment of newly acquired stenoses provides a rational approach for the long-term management of chronic coronary artery disease. In addition to yielding a favorable late outcome, the use of this strategy can result in sustained functional improvement and can check the progression of clinically significant stenoses.
Lehmann, K. G., Maas, A. C., Van Domburg, R., De Feyter, P. J., Van Brand, M. D., & Serruys, P. W. (1996). Repeat interventions as a long-term treatment strategy in the management of progressive coronary artery disease. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 27(6), 1398–1405. https://doi.org/10.1016/0735-1097(96)00002-2