The International Study of Comparative Health Effectiveness with Medical and Invasive Approaches (ISCHEMIA) was eagerly awaited study in the field of ischemic heart disease. Following the presentation and publication of ISCHEMIA, multiple opinions and viewpoints get complicated. The ongoing debates have been including the relevance of coronary revascularization, noninvasive diagnostic methods, and invasive ischemic testing in patients with stable ischemic heart disease (SIHD). Prior to ISCHEMIA, observational studies indicated the potential of coronary revascularization for improving clinical outcomes, while the randomized Clinical Outcomes Utilizing Revascularization and Aggressive Drug Evaluation (COURAGE) trial did not support the plausible concept. Although the Fractional Flow Reserve Versus Angiography for Multivessel Evaluation (FAME) 2 trial implied the superiority of percutaneous coronary intervention over medical therapy alone, the clinical relevance of coronary revascularization to improve outcomes and quality of life has been questioned. As a consequence, the ISCHEMIA trial did not demonstrate clear benefits in reducing clinical events but showed antianginal effects of revascularization. This landmark trial also suggested the difficulties of noninvasive ischemia testing rather than computed tomography angiography. Despite the complex results, the ISCHEMIA trial may simplify the clinical indications of coronary revascularization in patients with SIHD. Future publications from the ISCHEMIA trial and debates on the results will sharpen our thinking and understanding.
- coronary artery bypass grafting
- percutaneous coronary intervention