Steinberg, B. A., Steg, P. G., Bhatt, D. L., Fonarow, G. C., Zeymer, U., Cannon, C. P. Comparisons of guideline-recommended therapies in patients with documented coronary artery disease having percutaneous coronary intervention versus coronary artery bypass grafting versus medical therapy only (from the REACH International Registry) Am J Cardiol. 2007;99(9):1212-5.

To evaluate current compliance with recommendations for medical therapy in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD), the relation between previous revascularization and use of guideline-recommended therapies was investigated. From 5,400 outpatient practices in 44 countries, we compared baseline characteristics and medical therapy of 40,450 patients with documented CAD (all with previous myocardial infarction, percutaneous coronary intervention [PCI], coronary artery bypass grafting [CABG], or angina pectoris) by previous revascularization status. Approximately 33% of patients had previous CABG, 33% had previous PCI, and 33% had no previous revascularization. Patients with previous CABG were older and often men and diabetic. Patients with previous PCI were the youngest. Guideline-recommended medical therapy use was significantly higher in those with previous revascularization. Antiplatelet therapy in medically managed patients was 80% versus 86% and 91% for those with previous CABG or PCI, respectively. Use of any lipid-lowering agent in those with previous CABG or PCI was 86% in the 2 groups versus 70% in patients who were medically managed. Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers were used in similar ratios among groups. Previous revascularization appears to be associated with better use of guideline-recommended medical treatment. These trends were similar for patients from the United States versus everywhere else. In conclusion, use of evidence-based, guideline-recommended therapies in outpatients with CAD needs to improve, especially in medically managed patients.