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Implications of the Landmark ISCHEMIA Trial on the Initial Management of High-Risk Patients with Stable Ischemic Heart Disease

In the decades following the advent of percutaneous coronary intervention, the optimal treatment strategy for managing stable ischemic heart disease has remained a topic of debate. The purpose of this review is to discuss current literature that provides insight into preferred treatment strategies for managing stable coronary artery disease. The COURAGE trial (2007) compared patients with stable coronary artery disease treated with percutaneous coronary intervention plus optimal medical therapy versus optimal medical therapy alone and found no difference in death from any cause and non-fatal myocardial infarction at 4.6 years. The more recent ISCHEMIA trial (2020) compared an initial invasive revascularization strategy with optimal medical therapy to optimal medical therapy alone and similarly found no difference in death from cardiovascular causes, myocardial infarction, or hospitalization for unstable angina, heart failure, or resuscitated cardiac arrest at 5 years. When applied to a broad population with stable coronary artery disease, evidence suggests there is no benefit to an initial invasive revascularization strategy relative to optimal medical therapy alone. Further investigation is warranted to determine whether there are subgroups of individuals that may benefit from earlier revascularization.

Authors: Vafaei, Paniz; Naderi, Sahar; Ambrosy, Andrew P; Slade, Justin J

Curr Atheroscler Rep. 2021 09 01;23(11):70. Epub 2021-09-01.

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