Intended for healthcare professionals


New England Journal of Medicine reviews controversial stent study

BMJ 2020; 368 doi: (Published 04 March 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;368:m878
  1. Deborah Cohen,
  2. Ed Brown
  1. BBC Newsnight

The New England Journal of Medicine has launched a review into a trial comparing stents with bypass surgery for blocked arteries, after a series of allegations made by the BBC’s Newsnight programme.

The EXCEL trial compared the outcomes from percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) and coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) for the composite endpoint of death, myocardial infarction, and stroke in patients with left main disease at three and five years after their procedure.1

Newsnight alleged that important data about myocardial infarction had not been published and that the five year follow-up paper did not sufficiently emphasise that PCI patients had a higher mortality rate than those who had surgery.2

The trial was sponsored by the US stent …

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