Background. The influence of age on the relative success of either percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) or coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) in patients requiring myocardial revascularization continues to be controversial. Methods. In the Bypass Angioplasty Revascularization Investigation (BARI) trial, 1,829 patients with symptomatic multivessel coronary artery disease requiring revascularization were randomly assigned to undergo either CABG or PTCA. Results. Seven hundred nine patients (39%) were 65 to 80 years old at baseline; the other 1,120 were younger than 65 years. The in-hospital 30-day mortality rate for PTCA and CABG in the younger patients was 0.7% and 1.1%, respectively, and that for patients 65 years or older was 1.7% and 1.7%, respectively. In older compared with younger patients, stroke was more common after CABG (1.7% versus 0.2%, p = 0.015) and heart failure or pulmonary edema was more common after PTCA (4.0 versus 1.3%, p = 0.011). In both age groups, CABG resulted in greater relief of angina and fewer repeat procedures. The 5-year survival rate in patients younger than 65 years was 91.5% for CABG and 89.5% for PTCA. In patients 65 years or older, the 5-year survival rate was 85.7% for CABG and 81.4% for PTCA. Cardiac mortality at 5 years was greater in patients assigned to the PTCA group than in those assigned to the CABG group. However, no significant treatment differences were noted in cardiac mortality when only nondiabetic patients were examined. Conclusions. Within the context of the Bypass Angioplasty Revascularization Investigation trial, older patients with multivessel coronary disease do well with either PTCA or CABG. Compared with younger patients, older patients had less recurrent angina and were less likely to undergo repeat procedures, particularly among those assigned to undergo CABG. Cardiac mortality was greater in patients 65 years or older assigned to undergo PTCA; however, this difference was not noted when treated diabetic patients were excluded from analysis.
Mullany, C. J., Mock, M. B., Brooks, M. M., Kelsey, S. F., Keller, N. M., Sutton-Tyrrell, K., … Frye, R. L. (1999). Effect of age in the bypass angioplasty revascularization investigation (BARI) randomized trial. Annals of Thoracic Surgery, 67(2), 396–403. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0003-4975(98)01191-6