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OBJECTIVES: The authors sought to determine the extent to which the site of the left main coronary artery (LM) lesion (distal bifurcation versus ostial/shaft) influences the outcomes of revascularization with percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) versus coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG). BACKGROUND: Among 1,905 patients with LM disease and site-assessed SYNTAX scores of <32 randomized in the EXCEL (Evaluation of XIENCE Versus Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery for Effectiveness of Left Main Revascularization) trial, revascularization with PCI and CABG resulted in similar rates of the composite primary endpoint of death, myocardial infarction (MI), or stroke at 3 years. METHODS: Outcomes from the randomized EXCEL trial were analyzed according to the presence of angiographic core laboratory-determined diameter stenosis ≥50% involving the distal LM bifurcation (n = 1,559; 84.2%) versus disease isolated to the LM ostium or shaft (n = 293; 15.8%). RESULTS: At 3 years, there were no significant differences between PCI and CABG for the primary composite endpoint of death, MI, or stroke for treatment of both distal LM bifurcation disease (15.6% vs. 14.9%, odds ratio [OR]: 1.08, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.81 to 1.42; p = 0.61) and isolated LM ostial/shaft disease (12.4% vs. 13.5%, OR: 0.90, 95% CI: 0.45 to 1.81; p = 0.77) (pinteraction = 0.65). However, at 3 years, ischemia-driven revascularization occurred more frequently after PCI than CABG in patients with LM distal bifurcation disease (13.0% vs. 7.2%, OR: 2.00, 95% CI: 1.41 to 2.85; p = 0.0001), but were not significantly different in patients with disease only at the LM ostium or shaft (9.7% vs. 8.4%, OR: 1.18, 95% CI: 0.52 to 2.69; p = 0.68) (pinteraction = 0.25). CONCLUSIONS: In the EXCEL trial, PCI and CABG resulted in comparable rates of death, MI, or stroke at 3 years for treatment of LM disease, including those with distal LM bifurcation disease. Repeat revascularization rates during follow-up after PCI compared with CABG were greater for lesions in the distal LM bifurcation but were similar for disease isolated to the LM ostium or shaft.

Original publication




Journal article


JACC Cardiovasc Interv

Publication Date





1224 - 1233


EXCEL, left main stem, lesion site, substudy