Drug-eluting-stents for Unprotected Left Main Stem Disease (ISAR-LEFT-MAIN)


German Heart Center Munich

Status and phase

Phase 4


Coronary Disease


Device: Paclitaxel-eluting stent
Device: Sirolimus-eluting stent

Study type


Funder types



GE IDE No. S02005

Details and patient eligibility


The purpose of this study is to evaluate the efficacy of sirolimus- and paclitaxel-eluting stents for treatment of unprotected left main coronary artery disease.

Full description

With the advent of coronary stents and improvements in periprocedural antithrombotic regimen, the spectrum of indications of percutaneous coronary interventions has continuously expanded for patients with coronary heart disease, gaining ground in what have been traditionally considered as domains of coronary bypass surgery. Several groups reported the outcomes of patients with unprotected left main coronary artery (LMCA) disease treated with stenting. Most of them found that LMCA stenting was feasible and safe, and, in low-risk patients, it was associated with minimal periprocedural complications and low long-term morbidity and mortality. Despite these encouraging reports, a widespread use of this technique has been hampered by the still high incidence of restenosis. It is commonly accepted that coronary bypass graft surgery and stenting for unprotected LMCA disease are associated with similar rates of mortality, and that the higher incidence of restenosis and greater need for revascularization procedures after LMCA stenting remain the major contributors for the observed difference in clinical efficacy between both therapies. The recent introduction of stents eluting anti-restenotic drugs, with sirolimus and paclitaxel the most studied compounds, has opened new perspectives for the prevention of restenosis. Several randomized trials have reported excellent results in the reduction of restenosis and need for reinterventions with drug-eluting stents (DES). Although, none of these trials studied the benefit of DES for lesions located in the LMCA, their results suggested that use of these new devices may be particularly helpful for the reduction of restenosis in the group of patients with left main trunk disease. This is supported by the findings of several series of patients with unprotected LMCA disease who have been successfully treated with DES. Importantly, for patients who are unable to undergo CABG due to cardiac surgeons' refusal (poor surgical candidates) or their own unwillingness, stenting with DES remains the only revascularization alternative. Recent guidelines of PCI recommend stenting, preferentially with DES, for unprotected LMCA in the absence of other revascularization options. Comparison: Sirolimus-eluting stents compared with paclitaxel-eluting stent for treatment of lesions allocated at left main trunk.


607 patients




18+ years old


No Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion criteria

  • Patients older than age 18 with ischemic symptoms or evidence of myocardial ischemia in the presence of ≥50% stenosis located in unprotected LMCA who are unable to undergo coronary artery bypass graft (CABG)
  • Pretreatment with a loading dose of 300-600 mg clopidogrel
  • Informed, written consent

Exclusion criteria

  • Cardiogenic shock;
  • ST-segment elevation acute myocardial infarction within 48 h from symptom onset;
  • In-stent restenosis;
  • Malignancies or other comorbid conditions with life expectancy less than one year;
  • Prior coronary artery bypass surgery with revascularization of left anterior descending (LAD) and/or left circumflex (LCx) coronary artery
  • Planned staged percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) procedure within 30 days from index procedure or prior PCI within the last 30 days
  • Left main size >4.5mm
  • An elective surgical procedure is planned during the first six months post enrolment;
  • Known allergy to the study medications
  • Pregnancy
  • Patient's inability to fully cooperate with the study protocol

Trial design

Primary purpose




Interventional model

Parallel Assignment


None (Open label)

607 participants in 2 patient groups

Active Comparator group
Sirolimus-eluting stent (Cypher)
Device: Sirolimus-eluting stent
Active Comparator group
Paclitaxel-eluting stent (Taxus)
Device: Paclitaxel-eluting stent

Trial contacts and locations



Data sourced from clinicaltrials.gov

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