Conference Coverage

Bailout stenting for coronary bifurcations brings ‘unacceptable’ hazards

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Comment by G. Hossein Almassi, MD, FCCP

Dr. Hossein Almassi

Dr. Hossein Almassi

The findings of this study suggest that a careful preplanning and adherence to the planned procedure is in the best interest of the patient.



– Bailout stenting during percutaneous coronary intervention for coronary bifurcations doubled the risk of major adverse cardiovascular events in the world’s largest registry of patients with these often-challenging lesions treated using bioactive stents, Marco Zimarino, MD, reported at the annual congress of the European Association of Percutaneous Cardiovascular Interventions.

Indeed, resort to bailout stenting stood out as the major potentially modifiable risk factor for adverse outcomes among the 4,306 participants in the P2BiTO registry, an international collaboration supported by members of the EuroBifurcation Club. Most of the other independent risk factors identified in a multivariate regression analysis of the P2BiTO database were beyond operator control, including diabetes, advanced age, and presentation with an acute coronary syndrome, according to Dr. Zimarino of the University of Chieti (Italy).

Dr. Marco Zimarino, University of Chieti, Italy

Dr. Marco Zimarino

“The message is that the relevant player in determining adverse outcomes is bailout stenting, meaning any stent deployed beyond the planned strategy of either single or double stenting,” he said.

Bailout stenting is largely avoidable through meticulous procedural planning, the interventional cardiologist added.

“Careful planning is always mandatory because bailout stenting is associated with an unacceptably higher risk of both in-hospital and 1-year adverse outcomes,” Dr. Zimarino emphasized. “It’s much better to leave a degraded side branch instead of using bailout stenting to get an excellent angiographic outcome that’s a predictor of a worse clinical outcome.”

Conventional wisdom holds that single stenting of either the main artery or a side branch in a patient with coronary bifurcation is safer than double stenting of both. However, that wasn’t really borne out in the P2BiTO registry provided the operator’s plan was for double stenting. The difference in 1-year major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) between patients treated using a single- or double-stenting strategy wasn’t statistically significant, provided bailout stenting wasn’t utilized. If bailout stenting was employed, though, the risk of MACE was 2.2-fold greater than if the cardiologist stuck with the plan.

Ninety-eight percent of patients in the P2BiTO registry received drug-eluting stents. The other 2% got the Absorb bioabsorbable vascular scaffold. The percutaneous coronary intervention access site, treatment strategy, choice of stent, and duration of dual-antiplatelet therapy were left up to the operator’s discretion.

Risk factors for MACE in patients treated for coronary bifurcations
The 1-year MACE rate was 10%, including a 5.1% incidence of all-cause mortality, 3.2% cardiovascular mortality, 1.7% stroke, 3.4% acute MI excluding periprocedural MI, 2.5% stent thrombosis, and 1.7% Bleeding Academic Research Consortium type 3-5 bleeding. Bailout stenting was utilized in 8.8% of patients who experienced MACE and 4% of those who didn’t.

The risk of MACE was reduced by 39% in patients on dual-antiplatelet therapy for 6-12 months, compared with less than 6 months.

Discussant Graham Cassel, MD, director of the heart transplant unit at Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg, commented, “The message comes through very clearly that, if you plan your procedure well, the chance of bailout is far less – and if you do have to bail out, the results are uniformly bad. If you can avoid putting in two or three stents, that’s beneficial.”

Dr. Zimarino reported having no financial conflicts of interest regarding his presentation.

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