An approach to the rational use of revascularization in heart failure patients

Jean L. Rouleau*, Robert O. Bonow

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The most common cause of heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HF. rEF) is coronary artery disease. A multitude of factors come into play when deciding whether a patient with HF. rEF and coronary artery disease should have coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery, percutaneous coronary intervention, or medical therapy alone. For candidates for percutaneous coronary intervention and CABG, evidence from large registries would suggest that patients with 2-vessel coronary artery diseases and proximal left anterior descending disease and all patients with 3-vessel coronary artery disease do better with CABG. For patients that are candidates for medical therapy with or without CABG, the results of the Surgical Treatment for Is. chemic Heart Failure (STICH) trial indicate that with CABG, the reduction of mortality is not statistically significant (hazard ratio [HR], 0.86; P = 0.12). However, CABG is superior in reducing cardiovascular deaths (HR, 0.81; P = 0.05), and the combination of cardiovascular deaths and cardiovascular hospitalizations (HR, 0.74; P < 0.001). Patients undergoing CABG have an upfront risk that is eliminated by 2 years and thereafter do better. The assessment of cardiac viability or reversible ischemia does not appear to be helpful in determining which individuals will improve more with CABG. Patients with severe mitral regurgitation who undergo CABG appear to benefit from simultaneous valve repair but not from the addition of surgical ventricular reconstruction of the left ventricle, although in specific patients this might be considered. The totality of evidence would thus suggest that patients with HF. rEF should be evaluated for the possibility of coronary revascularization if they are candidates for CABG.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)281-287
Number of pages7
JournalCanadian Journal of Cardiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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