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OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of bifurcation lesions on individual predicted and observed all-cause 10-year mortality in the SYNTAX (Synergy Between PCI With Taxus and Cardiac Surgery) trial. BACKGROUND: Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) of bifurcation lesions is associated with higher rates of adverse events, and currently it is unclear whether PCI or coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) is the safer treatment for these patients at very long term follow-up. METHODS: In the SYNTAXES (SYNTAX Extended Survival) study, 10-year observed and individual predicted mortality derived from the SYNTAX score 2020 (SS-2020) was compared between patients with ≥1 bifurcation (n = 1,300) and those with no bifurcations (n = 487). RESULTS: Among patients treated with PCI, patients with >1 bifurcation lesion compared with those without bifurcation lesions had a significantly higher risk for all-cause death (19.8% vs 30.1%; HR: 1.55; 95% CI: 1.12 to 2.14; P = 0.007), whereas following CABG, mortality was similar in patients with and those without bifurcation lesions (23.3% vs 23.0%; HR: 0.81; 95% CI: 0.59 to 1.12; P = 0.207; Pinteraction = 0.006). In PCI patients, a 2-stent vs a 1-stent technique was associated with higher mortality (33.3% vs 25.9%; HR: 1.51; 95% CI: 1.06 to 2.14; P = 0.021). According to the SS-2020, among those with ≥1 bifurcation, there was equipoise for all-cause mortality between PCI and CABG in 2 quartiles of the population, whereas CABG was superior to PCI in the 2 remaining quartiles. CONCLUSIONS: Bifurcation lesions require special attention from the heart team, considering the higher 10-year all-cause mortality associated with PCI. Careful evaluation of bifurcation lesion complexity and calculation of individualized 10-year prognosis using the SS-2020 may therefore be helpful in decision making. (Synergy Between PCI With TAXUS and Cardiac Surgery: SYNTAX Extended Survival [SYNTAXES], NCT03417050; Taxus Drug-Eluting Stent Versus Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery for the Treatment of Narrowed Arteries [SYNTAX], NCT00114972).

Original publication




Journal article


JACC Cardiovasc Interv

Publication Date



CABG, PCI, SYNTAX, bifurcation lesion, long-term clinical outcomes