, Volume 101, Issue 3, pp 201-208
Date: 13 Nov 2011

Real-world experience of drug-eluting stents in saphenous vein grafts compared to native coronary arteries: results from the prospective multicenter German DES.DE registry

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Bypass-graft intervention was associated with worse outcomes in the bare-metal stent era. Without sufficiently powered data from subgroup analyses, and in absence of randomized controlled trials targeting clinical endpoints, controversy is ongoing over safety and efficacy of drug-eluting stents (DES) in saphenous vein graft (SVG) lesions.

Methods and results

Between October 2005 and October 2006, 5,183 patients receiving DES in SVG (n = 251) or native coronary arteries (NCA) (n = 4,932) were enrolled at 98 DES.DE sites. The composite of death, myocardial infarction (MI), and stroke defined as major adverse cardiac and cerebrovascular events (MACCE) and target-vessel revascularization (TVR) were defined as primary endpoints. Baseline clinical and descriptive morphology of coronary artery disease revealed more severe lesions and comorbidities in the SVG group. At 1-year follow-up, the SVG group suffered from higher rates of overall death (6.6 vs. 2.5%; p < 0.0001), myocardial infarction (5.9 vs. 2.2%; p < 0.0001), MACCE (13.6 vs. 5.4%; p < 0.0001), TVR (17.7 vs. 10.4%; p < 0.001) and overall stent thrombosis (10.0 vs. 3.7%; p < 0.0001).


Data collected in DES.DE revealed that first generation DES used in SVG lesions did not offset the worse clinical outcomes of bypass-graft intervention. Such sobering results in SVG may suggest to opt for native vessel PCI preferentially or occasionally for surgical reintervention as decided by the Heart Team.

For the DES.DE Study Group.
Members of the Organization of the German DES.DE Registry are given in the Appendix.