ORBITA-2 Trial: PCI in Stable Angina

orbita 2 trial summary

Understanding the Impact of PCI in Stable Angina: Insights from the ORBITA-2 Trial

The ORBITA-2 trial has emerged as a cornerstone study in the field of cardiology, particularly in the treatment of stable angina through Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI). This pivotal trial, published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2023, seeks to provide clarity on the effectiveness of PCI compared to placebo procedures in managing stable angina pectoris—a condition marked by chest pain due to coronary artery disease.

Objective and Methodology

The primary objective of ORBITA-2 was to assess the effectiveness of PCI in patients presenting with stable angina and coronary stenoses causing ischemia. The trial was meticulously designed as a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study—a gold standard in clinical research ensuring unbiased results.

A total of 301 patients were enrolled in the trial. Inclusion criteria were stringent, requiring patients suitable for PCI with angina or equivalent symptoms, anatomical evidence of significant coronary stenosis in at least one vessel, and evidence of ischemia. Two groups were formed: one underwent the PCI procedure (n=151), while the other was subjected to a placebo procedure (n=150).

Results and Discussion

The outcomes of ORBITA-2 are profound. The primary outcome measure was the mean angina symptom score, where the PCI group reported a score of 2.9, which was significantly lower than the placebo group’s score of 5.6. The odds ratio (OR) of 2.21 with a 95% confidence interval (CI) of 1.41-3.47 and a p-value of less than 0.001 indicate a strong statistical significance in favor of PCI.

Secondary outcomes included mean daily angina frequency and mean treadmill exercise time. The PCI group showed a mean daily angina frequency of 0.3 compared to 0.7 in the placebo group, with an OR of 3.44 (95% CI 2.00-5.91). Furthermore, the mean treadmill exercise time was notably higher in the PCI group at 701 seconds versus 641 seconds in the placebo group.


The ORBITA-2 trial conclusively demonstrates that for patients with stable angina receiving minimal or no antianginal medication and with objective evidence of ischemia, PCI significantly improves angina symptoms and exercise time compared to a placebo procedure. These findings underscore the role of PCI in improving health status in patients with angina, reinforcing its value as a therapeutic intervention.

Clinical Implications and Future Directions

The ORBITA-2 trial provides compelling evidence for cardiologists and healthcare professionals, reinforcing PCI as a viable and effective treatment for stable angina with demonstrated ischemia. As healthcare continues to evolve, studies like ORBITA-2 are instrumental in guiding evidence-based clinical decisions and shaping the future of cardiovascular treatment protocols.


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