OBJECTIVES This study sought to assess the effect of the addition of coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) to medical therapy on mode of death in heart failure. BACKGROUND Although CABG therapy is widely used in ischemic cardiomyopathy patients, there are no prospective clinical trial data on mode of death. METHODS The STICH (Surgical Treatment for Ischemic Heart Failure ) trial compared the strategy of CABG plus medical therapy to medical therapy alone in 1,212 ischemic cardiomyopathy patients with reduced ejection fraction. A clinical events committee adjudicated deaths using pre-specified definitions for mode of death. RESULTS In the STICH trial, there were 462 deaths over a median follow-up of 56 months. The addition of CABG therapy tended to reduce cardiovascular deaths (hazard ratio [HR]: 0.83; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.68 to 1.03; p = 0.09) and significantly reduced the most common modes of death: sudden death (HR: 0.73; 95% CI: 0.54 to 0.99; p = 0.041) and fatal pump failure events (HR: 0.64; 95% CI: 0.41 to 1.00; p = 0.05). Time-dependent estimates indicate that the protective effect of CABG principally occurred after 24 months in both categories. Deaths post-cardiovascular procedures were increased in CABG patients (HR: 3.11; 95% CI: 1.47 to 6.60), but fatal myocardial infarction deaths were lower (HR: 0.07; 95% CI: 0.01 to 0.57). Noncardiovascular deaths were infrequent and did not differ between groups. CONCLUSIONS In the STICH trial, the addition of CABG to medical therapy reduced the most common modes of death: sudden death and fatal pump failure events. The beneficial effects were principally seen after 2 years. Post-procedure deaths were increased in patients randomized to CABG, whereas myocardial infarction deaths were decreased.
Carson, P., Wertheimer, J., Miller, A., O’Connor, C. M., Pina, I. L., Selzman, C., … Velazquez, E. J. (2013). The STICH Trial (Surgical Treatment for Ischemic Heart Failure). JACC: Heart Failure, 1(5), 400–408. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jchf.2013.04.012