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Landmark Trial Provides Vital Information for Cardiac Disease Treatment
Date:2/18/2009

NorthShore University HealthSystem Ted Feldman, M.D., Lead Investigator

Evanston, IL. -- NorthShore University HealthSystem (NorthShore) has played a leading role in a landmark clinical trial comparing two forms of treatment for patients with severe coronary artery disease (CAD). The results were published on-line in this week's issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

The SYNTAX trial was a clinical research study that compared percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) with drug-eluting stents and coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG) in patients with three-vessel and left main coronary disease. The trial results did not show any statistically significant differences between PCI and CABG in rates of death or heart attack, an excess of stroke in the CABG treated patients, and a greater need for repeat PCI procedures in the stent treated patients. These are better outcomes for PCI than have been seen in prior trials in less complex patients.

"At NorthShore, we experienced stunning outcomes in patients whose only option would have previously been bypass surgery," said Ted Feldman, M.D, F.S.C.A.I., Director of Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory, NorthShore University HealthSystem, and a lead investigator of the trial. "The data in this study will provide cardiologists with additional information as they determine treatment therapy for patients with complex CAD."

The trial is the first randomized, controlled clinical trial to compare these two treatments in patients with left main disease and/or three-vessel disease, who are typically treated with CABG and represent a population with far more complex anatomy and advanced disease than those studied in prior drug-eluting stent (DES) clinical trials.

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