The availability of bare metal stents (BMS) followed by drug-eluting stents of first- (DES1) and second-generation (DES2) progressively increased the rate of the percutaneous revascularizations [percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI)] with unknown impact on the long-term outcome of real-world patients with established coronary artery disease. We sought to investigate treatments applied in patients with coronary artery disease in BMS, DES1 and DES2 eras and their 5-year outcome.
A total of 3099 consecutive patients with at least one coronary stenosis more than 50% observed in 2002 (BMS era), 2005 (DES1 era) and 2011(DES2 era) were enrolled at 13 hospitals in Veneto region, Italy.
Moving from BMS to DES1 and DES2 eras patients became significantly older, had more comorbidities and received more frequently statins, betablockers, renin–angiotensin modulators and antiplatelets (P < 0.0001 for all). The PCI/conservative therapy ratio increased from 1.9 to 2.2 and 2.3, the PCI/coronary artery by-pass surgery ratio from 3.6 to 4.0 and 5.1. The crude 5-year survival was 84.9, 83.4 and 81.4% (P = 0.20) and survival free of myocardial infarction, stroke or further revascularizations was 62.1, 60.2 and 60.1% (P = 0.68), with cardiovascular mortality accounting for 60.9, 55.6 and 43.4% of deaths. At multivariable analysis cardiovascular mortality was significantly lower in patients enrolled in 2011 vs. 2002 (hazard ratio = 0.712, 95% confidence interval 0.508–0.998, P = 0.048).
From BMS to DES1 and DES2 eras progressive worsening of patients characteristics, improvement of medical treatment standards and increase in PCI/conservative therapy and PCI/coronary artery by-pass surgery ratios were observed. Five-year outcomes remained similar in the three cohorts, but in the DES2 era cardiovascular mortality was reduced.