Routine follow-up coronary angiography after percutaneous coronary intervention leads to increased rates of coronary revascularization but without any significant benefits for outcomes, according to a study presented at the Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics annual meeting and published simultaneously on Nov. 1 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Cardiovascular Interventions.
, from Kyoto University, and his coauthors reported on , a prospective, open-label randomized controlled trial of routine follow-up coronary angiography in 700 patients who underwent successful percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI).
Among the 349 patients randomized to follow-up coronary angiography (FUCAG), 12.8% underwent any coronary revascularization within the first year after PCI, compared with 3.8% of the 351 patients randomized to standard clinical follow-up. The routine angiography group also had a higher incidence of target lesion revascularization in the first year after the index PCI (7.0% vs. 1.7%).
In both these cases, the cumulative 5-year incidence of coronary or target lesion revascularization was not significantly different between the routine angiography and control groups. However researchers saw no significant benefit from routine FUCAG in terms of the cumulative 5-year incidence of all-cause death, myocardial infarction, stroke, or emergency hospitalizations for acute coronary syndrome or heart failure, compared with clinical follow-up (22.4% vs. 24.7%; P = 0.70).
Nor were there any significant differences between the two groups in these individual components, or in the cumulative 5-year incidence of major bleeding (JACC Cardiovasc Interv. 2016 Nov 1.)
The authors commented that several previous studies have shown that routine FUCAG does not improve clinical outcomes, although it is still commonly performed in Japan after PCI.
“However, previous studies in the drug-eluting stents (DES) era were conducted in the context of pivotal randomized trials of DES and there have been no randomized clinical trials evaluating long-term clinical impact of routine FUCAG after PCI in the real world clinical practice including high-risk patients for cardiovascular events risk such as complex coronary artery disease and acute myocardial infarction (AMI) presentation,” the authors wrote.
Overall, 85.4% of patients in the routine angiography group and 12% of those in the clinical care group underwent coronary angiography in the first year, including for clinical reasons.
In the clinical follow-up group, coronary angiography was performed because of acute coronary syndrome (14%), recurrence of angina (60%), other clinical reasons (14%), or no clinical reason (12%). The control group also had more noninvasive physiological stress testing such as treadmill exercise test and stress nuclear study.
“Considering the invasive nature of coronary angiography and increased medical expenses, routine FUCAG after PCI would not be allowed as the usual clinical practice, unless patients have recurrent symptoms or objective evidence of ischemia,” the authors wrote.
“On the other hand, there was no excess of adverse clinical events with routine angiographic follow-up strategy except for the increased rate of 1-year repeat coronary revascularization.”
Given this, they suggested that scheduled angiographic follow-up might still be considered acceptable for early in vivo or significant coronary device trials.
While the authors said the trial ended up being underpowered because of a reduced final sample size and lower-than-anticipated event rate, it did warrant further larger-scale studies. In particular, they highlighted the question of what impact routine follow-up angiography might have in higher-risk patients, such as those with left main or multivessel coronary artery disease.
“Finally, because patient demographics, practice patterns including the indication of coronary revascularization, and clinical outcomes in Japan may be different from those outside Japan, generalizing the present study results to populations outside Japan should be done with caution.”
This study was supported by an educational grant from the Research Institute for Production Development (Kyoto). One author declared honoraria for education consulting from Boston Scientific Corporation.