White blood cell count and clinical outcomes after left main coronary artery revascularization: Insights from the EXCEL trial

Bimmer E. Claessen, Ori Ben-Yehuda, Roxana Mehran, Sabato Sorrentino, Paul Guedeney, Shmuel Chen, Ovidiu Dressler, Annapoorna S. Kini, Samin K. Sharma, Samer Mansour, Nicolas Noiseux, Ditian Li, Arie Pieter Kappetein, Joseph F. Sabik, Patrick W. Serruys, Gregg W. Stone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Prior studies have reported an association between elevated white blood cell count (WBCc) and worse clinical outcomes after coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) and percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). We assessed the prognostic impact of WBCc in patients undergoing revascularization for left main coronary artery disease (LMCAD). Methods: In Evaluation of XIENCE Versus Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery for Effectiveness of Left Main Revascularization (EXCEL), 1905 patients with LMCAD and low or intermediate SYNTAX scores were randomized to PCI with everolimus-eluting stents versus CABG. The 1895 patients with baseline WBCc available were grouped in tertiles of WBCc (mean 5.6 ± 0.8, 7.5 ± 0.5, and 10.1 ± 1.6 × 109/L). Results: Five-year rates of the primary endpoint (death, myocardial infarction or stroke) were similar across increasing WBCc tertiles (21.2, 18.9, and 21.6%; P = 0.46). Individual components of the primary endpoint, Bleeding Academic Research Consortium (BARC) 3-5 bleeding, stent thrombosis or graft occlusion and ischemia-driven revascularization were all similar across WBCc tertiles. By multivariable analysis, WBCc as a continuous variable was not an independent predictor of adverse events (hazard radio per 1 × 109/L: 1.02; 95% CI, 0.97-1.08; P = 0.43). Results were consistent in the PCI and CABG arms individually. Conclusion: There was no association between baseline WBCc and 30-day or 5-year clinical outcomes after PCI or CABG. The absence of a clear incremental increase in events with increasing WBCc in the current analysis indicates that WBCc should not routinely be used as a prognostic marker or to guide revascularization decisions in patients with LMCAD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-51
Number of pages7
JournalCoronary Artery Disease
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2022


  • Coronary artery bypass grafting
  • Left main coronary artery disease
  • Percutaneous coronary intervention
  • White blood cell count


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