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Review: percutaneous coronary angioplasty is associated with less angina but more coronary artery bypass grafting in patients with non-acute coronary artery disease than is medical treatment

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 QUESTION: In patients with non-acute coronary artery disease (CAD), is percutaneous coronary angioplasty (PTCA) as effective as medical care for reducing angina, myocardial infarction (MI), death, and revascularisation?

Data sources

Studies were identified by searching Medline, EMBASE/Excerpta Medica, the Cochrane Library, and PASCAL for 1979 to 1998 with the terms transluminal percutaneous coronary angioplasty, cardiovascular agents, coronary disease, and random (with various endings). Bibliographies of review articles and studies were scanned.

Study selection

Randomised controlled trials were selected if PTCA was compared with medical care and if the patients had non-acute CAD and had had no acute MI in the previous week.

Data extraction

Data were extracted independently and in duplicate on study quality, clinical and angiographic inclusion criteria, number of vessels and proportion with successful dilation, treatment and related complications, length of follow up, comorbid conditions, mean ejection fraction, and …

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  • Source of funding: no external funding.

  • For correspondence: Dr H Bucher, Medizinische Universitäts-Poliklinik, Kantonsspital Basel, CH-4031 Basel, Switzerland.