Left main coronary artery (LMCA) disease is now uniformly treated with coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG). However, some patients with LMCA disease do not receive CABG because of high operative risks. The advent of stent implantation has permitted a non-operative improvement in myocardial blood flow in many patients with single- and multi-vessel coronary artery disease. However, the outcomes of stent implantation for unprotected LMCA disease are still unclear. Stent implantation was performed for unprotected LMCA disease in 13 patients; eight patients had high operative risk and five patients had refused CABG. The primary success rate was 100% (13/13 patients). One patient (8%) developed a non-Q-wave myocardial infarction after LMCA stenting. Repeat angiography was obtained in five patients (38%) with recurrent angina, and three patients (23%) received repeated percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) for LMCA restenosis. In the follow-up period of 18±3 months, 12 patients (92%) remained in satisfactory condition with no further need for surgical intervention. One patient (8%) ultimately required CABG, and she died after CABG at 3 months after LMCA stenting. In conclusion, although CABG remains the standard treatment for LMCA disease, the present study demonstrates that stent implantation is a safe and clinically beneficial revascularization procedure for unprotected LMCA disease in patients who have high operative risk as well as those who refuse CABG.
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