a multicentre, open-label, randomised superiority trial
BACKGROUND: In head-to-head comparisons of coronary drug-eluting stents, the primary endpoint is traditionally assessed after 9-12 months. However, the optimum timepoint for this assessment remains unclear. In this study, we assessed clinical outcomes at up to 5 years' follow-up in patients who received two different types of drug-eluting stents. METHODS: We undertook this multicentre, open-label, randomised superiority trial at five percutaneous coronary intervention centres in Denmark. We randomly allocated 2332 eligible adult patients (≥18 years of age) with an indication for drug-eluting stent implantation to the zotarolimus-eluting Endeavor Sprint stent (Medtronic, Santa Rosa, CA, USA) or the sirolimus-eluting Cypher Select Plus stent (Cordis, Johnson & Johnson, Warren, NJ, USA). Randomisation of participants was achieved by computer-generated block randomisation and a telephone allocation service. The primary endpoint of the SORT OUT III study was a composite of major adverse cardiac events-cardiac death, myocardial infarction, and target vessel revascularisation-at 9 months' follow-up. In this study, endpoints included the occurrence of major adverse cardiac events and definite stent thrombosis at follow-up times of up to 5 years. Analysis was by intention to treat. The trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00660478. FINDINGS: We randomly allocated 1162 patients to receive the zotarolimus-eluting stent and 1170 to the sirolimus-eluting stent. At 5-year follow-up, rates of major adverse cardiac events were similar in patients treated with both types of stents (zotarolimus-eluting stents 197/1162 [17.0%] vs sirolimus-eluting stents 182/1170 [15.6%]; odds ratio [OR] 1.10, 95% CI 0.88-1.37; p=0.40). This finding was indicative of the directly contrasting results for rates of major adverse cardiac events at 1-year follow up (zotarolimus 93/1162 [8.0%] vs sirolimus 46/1170 [3.9%]; OR 2.13, 95% CI 1.48-3.07; p<0.0001) compared with those at follow-up between 1 and 5 years (104 [9.0%] vs 136 [11.6%]; OR 0.78, 95% CI 0.59-1.02; p=0.071). At 1-year follow-up, definite stent thrombosis was more frequent after implantation of the zotarolimus-eluting stent (13/1162 [1.1%]) than the sirolimus-eluting stent (4/1170 [0.3%]; OR 3.34, 95% CI 1.08-10.3; p=0.036), whereas the opposite finding was recorded for between 1 and 5 years' follow-up (zotarolimus-eluting stent 1/1162 [0.1%] vs sirolimus-eluting stent 21/1170 [1.8%], OR 0.05, 95% CI 0.01-0.36; p=0.003). 26 of 88 (30%) target lesion revascularisations in the zotarolimus-eluting stent group occurred between 1 and 5 years' follow-up, whereas 54 of 70 (77%) of those in the sirolimus-eluting stent group occurred during this follow-up period. INTERPRETATION: The superiority of sirolimus-eluting stents compared with zotarolimus-eluting stents at 1-year follow-up was lost after 5 years. The traditional 1-year primary endpoint assessment therefore might be insufficient to predict 5-year clinical outcomes in patients treated with coronary drug-eluting stent implantation. FUNDING: Cordis and Medtronic.