Veterans Administration physicians say they have discovered that the chances of long-term survival after coronary bypass surgery can be estimated beforehand by data from noninvasive tests. In particular, they say that they have found one new group of high-risk patients who stand to benefit from surgery despite the number of vessels affected by significant atherosclerosis.
These findings were presented at the American College of Cardiology meeting in Houston by Timothy Takaro, MD, of the Oteen, NC, VA Hospital, who is surgical cochairman of the Veterans Administration Cooperative Group for the Study of Surgery for Coronary Arterial Occlusive Disease.
Cardiovascular specialists present at Takaro's talk, however, advised cautious translation of these findings to clinical decision making.
Using the same data base as did those who conducted the controversial prospective randomized VA trial which in 1977 showed no statistical difference in terms of patient outcome between medical and surgical therapy for non-left