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Landmark Trial Provides Vital Information for Cardiac Disease Treatment

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.

There were 1,800 patients enrolled in the randomized arm of the trial. All patients were assessed by a multidisciplinary team including an interventional cardiologist and a cardiac surgeon. If both the cardiologist and surgeon felt that they could offer equivalent complete revascularization, patients were randomized 1:1 into one of the two treatment strategies. If either the cardiologist or surgeon felt that one or the other revascularization technique was the preferred option, due to technical considerations or co-morbidity, for example, then patients were recruited into one of two parallel, nested registries for PCI or CABG. Thus, patients in the PCI registry had been rejected for cardiac surgery.

About NorthShore University HealthSystem

Headquartered in Evanston, Ill., NorthShore University HealthSystem (NorthShore) is a comprehensive, fully integrated, healthcare delivery system that serves the greater North Shore and northern Illinois communities. The system includes three Hospitals--Evanston Hospital, Glenbrook Hospital and Highland Park Hospital--and a fourth, Skokie-based Rush North Shore Hospital, to be added in January 2009. In addition, the healthsystem has more than 2,000 affiliated physicians, including a 550-physician, multispecialty physician group practice with over 70 office locations-- NorthShore University HealthSystem Medical Group. Further, NorthShore is committed to excellence in its academic mission and supports teaching and research as the principal teaching affiliate of the University of Chicago's Pritzker School of Medicine. The NorthShore University HealthSystem Research Institute, with more than $100 million of grants, focuses on clinical and translational research, including leadership in outcomes research and clinical trials.

NorthShore has annual revenues of $1.5 billion and a staff of more than 8,000. The healthsystem has significant capabilities in a wide spectrum of clinical programs, including cancer, heart, orthopaedics, high-risk maternity and pediatrics. NorthShore is a national leader in the implementation of innovative technologies, including electronic medical records, (EMR ). In 2003, the healthsystem was among the first in the country to successfully launch a systemwide EMR with demonstrable benefits in quality, safety, efficiency and service to patients. NorthShore has been recognized by multiple national organizations for this notable achievement. Visit

CONTACT: Amy Ferguson
Senior Director, Public Relations
NorthShore University HealthSystem
(847) 570-3146


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