Evaluation of the SYNTAX score by residents in clinical cardiology

Pablo M. Lamelas, Gerardo Nau, Juan P. Costabel, Jorge Thierer, Jorge Belardi, Alberto Alves de Lima



The SYNTAX score (SS) is a useful tool for selecting patients with left main or three-vessel coronary artery disease eligible for percutaneous coronary interventions. The score has moderate inter-observer reproducibility among members of the original study. There is not sufficient evidence about the evaluation of the SS by non-interventional cardiologists.


The aim of the study was to evaluate whether residents in cardiology can perform an adequate evaluation of the SS and to detect possible biases in its evaluation.


Coronary angiographies with evidence of main left coronary artery disease and/or three-vessel disease were retrospectively selected. A resident in cardiology (RC) calculated the total SS in order to compare it with the score calculated by an interventional cardiologist (IC). Data were analyzed using the kappa coefficient (deciles and tertiles), Lin’s concordance correlation coefficient and the Bland-Altman plot method.


Ninety three coronary angiographies were analyzed. Mean SS calculated by the IC and the RC were 28.58 (SD 10.0) and 30.44 (SD 10.7), respectively. Mean difference was 1.85 (SD 7.01). The kappa coefficient was 0.57 (0.464-0.678) for deciles and 0.60 for tertiles (0.48-0.72). Lin’s coefficient was 0.75 (0.65 to 0.83). The Bland-Altman analysis detected that the RC had a trend towards underestimating high scores calculated by the IC.


This study demonstrates a moderate to good inter-observer reproducibility between a RC and an IC. This level of agreement is acceptable to calculate the score, as previously published. A trend to underestimate high SS was detected in the RC.


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Revista argentina de cardiología. ISSN en línea 1850-3748. Argentine journal of cardiology (English ed. Online ISSN 2314-2286) Sociedad Argentina de Cardiología. Azcuénaga 980 (C1115AAD),Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires, República Argentina. Tel. (54 11) 4961-6027/8/9 Fax: 4961-6020 www.sac.org.ar revista@sac.org.ar