Southampton part of 10-year follow-up to find most effective heart disease treatment


Cardiology experts in Southampton are taking part in a worldwide follow-up study comparing two treatments for coronary heart disease (CHD) to better understand which is most effective in the long term.

Professor Nick Curzen, a consultant cardiologist at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, is leading the UK-arm of the international SYNTAXES study  which involves analysing patient data and survival rates over the past 10 years.

When complete, SYNTAXES will provide much-needed information on the long term outcomes of angioplasty and stents (PCI) and coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG) in patients with CHD.

A fatal condition

CHD is when the heart’s blood supply is blocked or interrupted by a build-up of fatty substances in the arteries that carry blood to the heart. If left untreated the arteries become narrowed or blocked completely, resulting in heart attack.

CHD is a major cause of death worldwide and is linked to smoking, high cholesterol, diabetes and high blood pressure.

A key issue for doctors treating patients with CHD is knowing which treatment – PCI or CABG – is most appropriate. Whilst most patients are not suitable for both, for those that could receive either, it is important that doctors know which therapy is best.

Building on existing evidence

A previous study, called SYNTAX, was designed to understand the most effective treatment for CHD and involved randomly assigning patients to receive either PCI or CABG.

It found patients with the most complex types of CHD do better on average with CABG. In almost all other patients the two treatments proved equal (in terms of death or heart attack incidence), although the number of patients needing further treatment was consistently higher in the PCI group.

“Now, to better understand patient outcomes over a longer time, this follow-up study will analyse 10 years’ worth of data from a national database,” explained Professor Curzen.

“We hope it will help doctors to understand patient needs and limitations and, as a result, decide the most effective treatment for each individual patient.”

“When complete, SYNTAXES will represent the most powerful evidence ever produced regarding the long term comparative outcome of PCI versus CABG,” Professor Curzen added. “This information will make it easier for doctors and their patients to make informed decisions about the best treatment option for their coronary disease.”

Opting out

If you were previously involved with the SYNTAX trial and would prefer not to have information about you included in the 10 year follow-up (SYNTAXES study), please contact Zoe Nicholas, Karen Banks - The Coronary Research Group, Rm ED029 E Level, North wing, Southampton General Hospital, Tremona Road, SO16 6YD or call 02381 208538

For more information on how your data will be used, you may wish to view and download the privacy notice by clicking here.

Posted on Wednesday 20 February 2019