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BACKGROUND: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is associated with high morbidity and mortality predominately due to increased cardiovascular risk. Few reports are available regarding the management of coronary artery disease (CAD) in RA patients and the long-term clinical outcomes after coronary revascularization. METHODS AND RESULTS: All consecutive patients with RA were identified by retrospective review at a rheumatology tertiary center in Milan, Italy between 2001 and 2013. RA patients affected by significant CAD (RA-CAD+) were prospectively followed for major adverse cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events (MACCE) after percutaneous coronary revascularization (RA-PCI), coronary artery bypass grafting (RA-CABG) or medical therapy (RA-MT). Among 936 patients with RA, the presence of clinically significant CAD was found in 5.6% (53 patients, RA-CAD+). Of these, 32 patients (60%) underwent PCI (RA-PCI), 10 patients (19%) underwent CABG (RA-CABG) and 11 patients (21%) treated with MT (RA-MT). After a mean follow-up of 9±7 years, the rate of MACCE was 56% in RA-PCI patients, 50% in RA-CABG and 27% in RA-MT patients (P=0.184). The high MACCE rate was mainly driven by repeat coronary revascularization (47%) in the RA-PCI group and high rate of strokes (30%) in RA-CABG patients. CONCLUSION: In patients with rheumatoid arthritis and concomitant coronary artery disease (RA-CAD+), we observed at long-term follow-up a high MACCE rate, predominantly in those who underwent coronary revascularization.


Journal article


Am J Cardiovasc Dis

Publication Date





9 - 18


Coronary artery disease, coronary artery bypass grafting, percutaneous coronary intervention, rheumatoid arthritis