10-Year All-Cause Mortality Following Percutaneous or Surgical Revascularization in Patients With Heavy Calcification

SYNTAX Extended Survival Investigators

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: The aim of this study was to assess 10-year all-cause mortality in patients with heavily calcified lesions (HCLs) undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) or coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG). Background: Limited data are available on very long term outcomes in patients with HCLs according to the mode of revascularization. Methods: This substudy of the SYNTAXES (Synergy Between PCI With Taxus and Cardiac Surgery Extended Survival) study assessed 10-year all-cause mortality according to the presence of HCLs within lesions with >50% diameter stenosis and identified during the calculation of the anatomical SYNTAX (Synergy Between PCI With Taxus and Cardiac Surgery) score among 1,800 patients with the 3-vessel disease and/or left main disease randomized to PCI or CABG in the SYNTAX trial. Patients with HCLs were further stratified according to disease type (3-vessel disease or left main disease) and assigned treatment (PCI or CABG). Results: The 532 patients with ≥1 HCL had a higher crude mortality rate at 10 years than those without (36.4% vs 22.3%; HR: 1.79; 95% CI: 1.49-2.16; P < 0.001). After adjustment, an HCL remained an independent predictor of 10-year mortality (HR: 1.36; 95% CI: 1.09-1.69; P = 0.006). There was a significant interaction in mortality between treatment effect (PCI and CABG) and the presence or absence of HCLs (Pinteraction = 0.005). In patients without HCLs, mortality was significantly higher after PCI than after CABG (26.0% vs 18.8%; HR: 1.44; 95% CI: 0.97-1.41; P = 0.003), whereas in those with HCLs, there was no significant difference (34.0% vs 39.0%; HR: 0.85; 95% CI: 0.64-1.13; P = 0.264). Conclusions: At 10 years, the presence of an HCL was an independent predictor of mortality, with a similar prognosis following PCI or CABG. Whether HCLs require special consideration when deciding the mode of revascularization beyond their current contribution to the anatomical SYNTAX score deserves further evaluation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)193-204
Number of pages12
JournalJACC: Cardiovascular Interventions
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 24 2022


  • calcification
  • coronary artery bypass grafting
  • long-term mortality
  • percutaneous coronary intervention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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