Seven-year safety and efficacy of the unrestricted use of drug-eluting stents in saphenous vein bypass grafts


  • Conflict of interest: Nothing to report.


Objectives: The aim was to investigate the 7-year clinical outcomes of patients treated with either drug-eluting stents (DES) or bare-metal stents (BMS) for saphenous vein graft disease (SVG). Background: Atherosclerotic disease in SVG has several peculiarities which make it difficult to extrapolate outcomes of the use of DES as compared to BMS, from outcomes observed in native coronary arteries. To date no long-term safety and efficacy results for DES in SVG have been published. Methods: Between January, 2000 and December, 2005 a total of 250 consecutive patients with saphenous vein graft disease were sequentially treated with DES (either sirolimus- or paclitaxel-eluting stents) or with BMS. Yearly follow-up was performed. Results: At 87 months (7.25 years), a total of 101 patients died (58 [46%] in the BMS group and 43 [42%] in the DES group, P-value= 0.4). There was no significant difference in the combined endpoint mortality or myocardial infarction. Cumulative target vessel revascularisation (TVR) was higher in the BMS group compared to the DES group (41% vs. 29%, respectively; adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 0.63, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.39–1.0). The cumulative incidence of major adverse cardiac events was 73% vs. 68% in the BMS and DES groups, respectively (adjusted HR 0.93, 95% CI: 0.67–1.3). Conclusions: In the present study, the unrestricted use of DES for SVG lesions appeared safe and effective up to 7.25 years- and the use of DES resulted in a clinically relevant lower rate of TVR. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.