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Comparison of outcome in 1809 patients treated with drug-eluting stents or bare-metal stents in a real-world setting.
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MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22174579     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to determine the long-term safety of drug-eluting stent (DES) versus bare metal stent (BMS) implantation in a "real-world" setting.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: A total of 1809 patients who were treated with implantation of either BMS or DES were assessed. Kaplan-Meier and multivariate Cox regression analyses concerning primary endpoint of cardiac mortality were performed.
RESULTS: A total of 609 patients received DES. Mean age was 66.2 ± 11.3 years, 69.4% were male, and 1517 (83.8%) were treated for acute coronary syndrome (unstable angina 510 [28.2%], non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction [NSTEMI] 506 [28.0%], and ST-elevation myocardial infarction [STEMI] 501 [27.7%]). Mean follow-up was 34 ± 15 months. During follow-up, 268 patients died of cardiac causes (DES 42 [7.3%]; BMS 226 [19.6%]; P < 0.001). Univariate Kaplan-Meier analysis showed an advantage of DES over BMS concerning the primary end-point (P < 0.001). When adjusting for classic risk factors and additional factors that affect the progression of coronary heart disease (CHD), DES was not found to be superior to BMS (hazard ratio 0.996, 95% confidence interval 0.455-2.182, P = 0.993). Severely impaired renal function was an independent predictor for cardiac mortality after stent implantation.
CONCLUSION: Treatment with DES is safe in the long term, also in patients presenting with STEMI. However, in multivariate analyses it is not superior to BMS treatment.
Alexander Vogt; Anke Schoelmerich; Franziska Pollner; Manuela Schlitt; Uwe Raaz; Lars Maegdefessel; Iris Reindl; Michael Buerke; Karl Werdan; Axel Schlitt
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article     Date:  2011-11-22
Journal Detail:
Title:  Vascular health and risk management     Volume:  7     ISSN:  1178-2048     ISO Abbreviation:  Vasc Health Risk Manag     Publication Date:  2011  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-12-16     Completed Date:  2012-07-09     Revised Date:  2013-06-27    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101273479     Medline TA:  Vasc Health Risk Manag     Country:  New Zealand    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  693-9     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Medicine III, Martin Luther-University, Halle, Germany.
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MeSH Terms
Acute Coronary Syndrome / therapy*
Drug-Eluting Stents* / adverse effects
Follow-Up Studies
Myocardial Infarction / therapy*
Retrospective Studies
Stents / adverse effects
Treatment Outcome

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

Full Text
Journal Information
Journal ID (nlm-ta): Vasc Health Risk Manag
Journal ID (publisher-id): Vascular Health and Risk Management
ISSN: 1176-6344
ISSN: 1178-2048
Publisher: Dove Medical Press
Article Information
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© 2011 Vogt et al, publisher and licensee Dove Medical Press Ltd
collection publication date: Year: 2011
Print publication date: Year: 2011
Electronic publication date: Day: 22 Month: 11 Year: 2011
Volume: 7First Page: 693 Last Page: 699
ID: 3237098
PubMed Id: 22174579
DOI: 10.2147/VHRM.S24370
Publisher Id: vhrm-7-693

Comparison of outcome in 1809 patients treated with drug-eluting stents or bare-metal stents in a real-world setting
Alexander Vogt1
Anke Schoelmerich1
Franziska Pollner1
Manuela Schlitt1
Uwe Raaz1
Lars Maegdefessel2
Iris Reindl1
Michael Buerke1
Karl Werdan1
Axel Schlitt1
1Department of Medicine III, Martin Luther-University, Halle, Germany
2Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, USA
Correspondence: Correspondence: Alexander Vogt, Department of Medicine III, Martin Luther-University, Ernst-Grube-Str 40, 06120 Halle, Germany, Tel +49 345 557 2017, Fax +49 345 557 4951, Email


Stent implantation has been established as a safe and effective method of treating coronary heart disease (CHD).1,2 Several clinical trials investigating the safety and efficacy of drug-eluting stents (DES) versus bare metal stents (BMS) showed an advantage of DES over BMS concerning restenosis.35 Since being introduced into clinical practice in 2003, DES have been increasingly used in patients with stable and unstable CHD.6

Late stent thrombosis as a fatal event 12 or more months after DES implantation is associated with a mortality of up to 45%7,8 and represents a major concern. Therefore, the long-term safety of DES has been extensively discussed in the past several years. Various authors reported an increasing incidence of cardiac death related to DES implantation.911 One of the main reasons for the increase in cardiac and cardiovascular mortality after DES treatment seems to be the fact that patient populations in these trials are highly selected and, thus, applying the findings to “real-world” use has limitations.

The aim of this study, therefore, was to determine the safety of DES versus BMS implantation in a “real-world” setting.

Patients and methods
Patients, demographic, clinical, and angiographic data

A total of 2056 CHD patients in whom a percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) was performed with implantation of a BMS or DES at the Department of Medicine III, Martin Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg between 2004 and 2006 were retrospectively assessed. Inclusion criterion was the implantation of a DES or BMS. Exclusion criteria included balloon dilatation without stent implantation or unsuccessful PCI and the decision for solely medical treatment. The choice of stent type was up to the interventional cardiologist based on national and international guidelines and recommendations. Thus, DES were more frequently used in patients with stable or unstable angina in native vessels, whereas BMS were more frequently implanted in patients presenting with acute myocardial infarction and more complicated lesions (ie, bifurcational or ostial lesions, unprotected left main).7 In case a patient received both stent types during the hospital stay, she/he was assigned to the drug-eluting stent cohort. PCI during a prior hospital stay was not considered in this analysis.

Data were collected concerning admission diagnosis ( stable angina [SAP], unstable angina [UAP], non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction [NSTEMI], ST-elevation myocardial infarction [STEMI]), bodyweight, height, medical history, classic risk factors (family history of CHD, diabetes mellitus, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, and current smoking), history of transient ischemic attacks (TIA) or stroke, current medication, duration of hospital stay, laboratory test results, and angiographic data. Left ventricular ejection fraction was measured by routinely performed echocardiography.

In-hospital adverse events included cardiac and noncardiac death, myocardial infarction, stroke/TIA, re-PCI, operative revascularization, and acute renal failure. Bleeding complications were recorded as puncture site bleeding, hematoma, aneurysm, arteriovenous fistula, gastrointestinal bleeding, intracranial bleeding, and minor bleeding complications (not related to puncture site, eg, epistaxis).

Primary endpoint was death from cardiac causes. This information was (as described in the following) obtained from electronic patient files, physicians, relatives, and civil registration offices.


For acquiring follow-up data a standardized questionnaire was sent out, which included questions concerning adverse events such as hospital admission, re-PCI or surgical coronary revascularization, bleeding complications, and thromboembolic events. If the patients did not send back the questionnaires, a telephone interview was conducted with the patient or his/her relatives or the patient’s physician was contacted. If this information could not be obtained from these persons, civil registration offices were contacted and information was requested about current address or date of death. The study was approved by the ethics committee of the Martin Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg.

Statistical analyses

Continuous variables were described as mean and standard deviation; skewed variables as median and 25% and 75% quartiles. Categorical variables were documented as a percentage. For comparison of metric, normally distributed variables, t-test was used. Mann-Whitney U-test was used to compare skewed variables. For normally distributed, categorical variables, the chi-square test was employed. Survival analyses included Kaplan-Meier analyses with log-rank test and multivariate Cox regression analyses. Multivariate Cox regression was applied to analyze the influence of DES on the primary endpoint, which included the classic risk factors (gender, body mass index, current smoking, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and family history of CHD) and additional factors affecting prognosis after stent implantation (age, hemoglobin, C-reactive protein, low density lipoprotein [LDL] cholesterol, glomerular filtration rate, and left ventricular ejection fraction).

P-values <0.05 were considered significant. Statistical analyses were performed using SPSS Statistics (SPSS Inc, Chicago, IL) software.

Patient characteristics

Of the 2056 patients, 1809 individuals met the inclusion criteria: 609 patients received DES, and 1200 received BMS. At the time of admission to the hospital, the mean age was 66.2 ± 11.3 years; patients treated with DES were significantly younger than patients treated with BMS (60.9 ± 11.4 versus 68.9 ± 10.2 years, P < 0.001). Of the patients, 69.4% were male (73.6% in the DES group versus 67.2% in the BMS group (P = 0.007) (Table 1).

The two groups also differed significantly regarding other cardiovascular risk factors: the prevalence of diabetes mellitus (27.6% versus 38.6%, P < 0.001) and hypertension (69.3% versus 74.2%, P = 0.020) was significantly higher in patients treated with BMS, whereas a positive family history of CHD (30.0% versus 17.4%, P < 0.001), current smoking (27.8% versus 20.2%, P < 0.001), and hyperlipidemia (40.9% versus 34.0%, P = 0.005) was found more often in patients treated with DES (Table 1).

The mean left ventricular ejection fraction was .50% in both groups; however, it was significantly lower in the BMS group (52% ± 16% BMS versus 56% ± 15% DES, P < 0.001) (Table 1).

Interestingly, the two groups did not differ significantly regarding the medication at admission to the hospital and at discharge, except for the use of diuretic agents, which were used more frequently in the BMS group.

Indication for hospital admission

A total of 258 (14.3%) patients suffered from stable angina, and 1517 (83.9%) suffered from acute coronary syndrome (unstable angina 510 [28.2%], NSTEMI 506 [28.0%], and STEMI 501 [27.7%]). In the DES group, the rate of stable angina was significantly higher than in the BMS group (19.9% versus 11.4%, P < 0.001). Unstable angina and STEMI were found more often in the BMS group, whereas NSTEMI did not differ between the two groups (Table 1).

Laboratory results

Markers of inflammation (C-reactive protein and white blood cell count) were slightly, but significantly different in the two groups (Table 1). Further prognostically relevant parameters,12,13 ie, hemoglobin and LDL cholesterol, were within normal range in the group as a whole. Nevertheless, the mean value of these parameters was slightly higher in the DES group than in the BMS group. The glomerular filtration rate, calculated via the Cockroft-Gault formula, was significantly decreased in the BMS group. Table 1 shows the details for these markers.

In-hospital adverse events

The median duration of hospital stay was 7 (4/11) days (DES 6 [3/9] versus BMS 8 [6/12], P = 0.042). In-hospital cardiac (5.7% versus 0.5%, P = 0.035) and in-hospital noncardiac death (1.1% versus 0.2%, P < 0.001) occurred more frequently in the BMS than in the DES group. The results were similar regarding incidence of myocardial infarctions (DES 0.3% versus BMS 1.3%, P = 0.042). Bleeding complications were observed more frequently in the BMS cohort than in the DES cohort, especially gastrointestinal and minor bleedings.

Follow-up and survival analyses

Follow-up data concerning the primary endpoint of cardiac death were obtained for 1730 patients (95.6%). The mean follow-up was 34 ± 15 months. During follow-up, 376 patients died of any causes (59 in the DES group [10.2%] and 317 in the BMS group [27.5%], P < 0.001). The incidence of death of cardiac causes was 7.3% in the DES and 19.6% in the BMS group (P < 0.001).

In addition, the incidence of stroke (3.1% versus 5.5%, P = 0.037) and coronary artery bypass surgery (DES 1.9% versus BMS 5.3%, P = 0.002) was lower in the DES group. The incidence of other adverse events during follow-up did not differ between the two groups (Table 2).

Kaplan-Meier analysis showed an increased cardiac mortality in the BMS group (Figure 1) (P < 0.001 via log-rank test). According to the multivariate model, including the classic risk factors and additional risk factors with prognostic relevance for progression of CHD, DES was not superior to BMS (hazard ratio [HR] 0.996, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.455–2.182, P = 0.993) (Table 3). In this “fully adjusted model,” only glomerular filtration rate (GFR) was an independent predictor for cardiac mortality after PCI with stent implantation. Compared to a GFR > 90 mL/min, a GFR between 15 and 30 mL/min increased the HR to 6.788 (95% CI 1.406–32.764, P = 0.017) and one of <15 mL/min to 7.011 (95% CI 1.228–40.024, P < 0.028), respectively (see Table 3).


After being introduced into daily clinical practice, the use of DES in PCI increased until several papers reported concerns about the long-term safety of these stents.9,10,14 Findings from various registries and meta-analyses showed an increase in all-cause mortality and the rate of major cardiovascular events9,15 after DES implantation as compared with BMS-treated patients. The aim of the present study was to compare mortality in an unselected patient population undergoing PCI with DES versus BMS implantation.

As described in the results section, the two groups in part significantly differed concerning the prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors (current smoking, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and positive family history). Also regarding the number of diseased vessels and the indication for PCI (ie, SAP, UAP, NSTEMI, and STEMI), significant differences can be observed. Patients presenting with SAP or UAP or 1-vessel-disease more often received DES, whereas patients suffering from STEMI or multivessel disease more often received BMS. These differences can be explained by the indications given in the revascularization guidelines.7 Meanwhile, current guidelines give a wider range of indications for the use of DES in more complex lesions and patient subsets.16

According to univariate analysis, DES are associated with an improved survival compared with BMS (P < 0.001) (Figure 1). However, in multivariate Cox regression analyses that include classic risk factors and further prognostic variables, use of DES completely lost its prognostic value. Also hemoglobin level, age, diabetes mellitus, and left ventricular ejection fraction, which are well known predictors for worse outcome of CHD patients, were not independently associated with the primary endpoint. In this model, the only independent predictor for cardiac mortality after PCI with stent implantation was impaired renal function. The authors conclude therefore that in a routine setting DES and BMS implantation are equally safe in terms of the occurrence of death of cardiac causes in the long term.

The findings of this present study are partly in line with recently published data on the safety of DES in the long and short term. Randomized studies taking diabetes mellitus, myocardial infarction, and multivessel disease as inclusion criteria1721 show encouraging results for the use of DES in these patient populations.

In patients with impaired renal function, systemic changes such as chronic inflammation, oxidative stress, anemia, a procoagulative milieu and endothelial dysfunction promote the progression of atherosclerotic changes and therefore also count as cardiovascular risk factors.2224 Studies dealing with the impact of DES compared to BMS on the outcome in patients with renal impairment showed that the benefit of DES implantation depends on the degree of renal impairment. Whereas patients with normal renal function or mildly impaired renal function (ie, creatinine clearance >60 mL/min and 40[30]–60 mL/min, respectively) profit from DES implantation,2528 this advantage can no longer be seen in patients with moderate or severe renal impairment (CrCl 15–30 mL/min and <15 mL/min, respectively). The advantages for DES are mainly driven by a lower rate of revascularization (target vessel revascularization and target lesion revascularization), whereas no advantage concerning the occurrence of major adverse cardiac events, including cardiac death or death from any cause, was found. The fact that in this present study, impaired renal function was the only independent predictor in the multivariate model for worse outcome in patients after PCI with stent implantation emphasizes the influence of renal insufficiency on the progression of CHD (see Table 3).

Patients who suffer myocardial infarction (STEMI) comprise a high-mortality population. The use of stents is considered standard treatment in these patients. Nevertheless, the use of DES under these circumstances is the subject of controversial discussion. Recently published results of randomized controlled trials included 300–700 patients and evaluated angiographic and clinical events 9 months and 12 months after PCI, respectively.19,20,29,30 Most of them concluded that DES is safe in STEMI and decreases the rate of re-interventions, but they did not find any advantage for DES concerning death or recurrent myocardial infarction. In contrast to these findings the results of observational studies which covered a follow-up period of 30 days up to 2 years in “real-world” settings varied. They ranged from a significantly increased risk-adjusted mortality in patients treated with DES31 over comparable outcomes regarding long-term mortality32 to a lower risk-adjusted mortality for DES.33,34

Among the patients in this present study, 501 presented with acute myocardial infarction with ST-segment elevation. Of them, 126 were treated with DES and 375 with BMS. When applying univariate Kaplan-Meier analysis with log-rank test, DES was an independent factor concerning cardiac mortality (P = 0.005). In multivariate analysis including the abovementioned prognostically relevant factors, DES was no longer an independent factor (HR 0.114, 95% CI 0.007–1.805, P = 0.123; data not shown in the results section). However, the use of DES in the “real-world” patient collective was not linked to poorer survival.


Treatment of patients with DES is safe in the long term, also in the subgroup of patients presenting with STEMI; however, it is not superior to BMS treatment.


As this study represents the results of “real-life” practice, the choice of stent type was up to the interventional cardiologist based on national and international guidelines and recommendations. Thus, a limitation of this study is the smaller sample size of patients treated with DES in comparison to patients treated with BMS.



The authors report no conflicts of interest in this work.

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Article Categories:
  • Original Research

Keywords: coronary stent, outcome, renal insufficiency, myocardial infarction, STEMI.

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