The high morbidity and mortality in patients with serious heart failure is a therapeutic challenge for current medicine. The leading cause of left ventricular dysfunction remains ischemic heart disease. Coronary artery bypass surgery is a treatment of choice in moderate-to-severe ischemic cardiomyopathy. The scarcity of completed prospective randomized clinical trials and high surgical risks create significant uncertainty concerning the optimal current treatment strategy. The role of imaging techniques of assessment for myocardial viability based on current guidelines may be very important in clinical decision-making. Present paper reviews some of the relevant literature concerning surgical treatment of ischemic cardiomyopathy and current evidence-based recommendations on this method of treatment. In advanced heart failure, coronary revascularization alone is an insufficient treatment modality. In the presence of moderate-to-severe ischemic mitral regurgitation, mitral valve repair or replacement should be considered at coronary artery bypass grafting surgery. One of the most common mechanisms of ischemic mitral regurgitation is Carpentier’s type IIIb dysfunction, in which an undersized mitral anuloplasty might be helpful. Surgery of left ventricular shape and volume restoration leads to improvement of left ventricular function in patients with ischemic cardiomyopathy. When the results from three ongoing prospective randomized studies – the Surgical Treatment for Ischemic Heart Disease trial, Heart Failure Revascularization trial, the PET and Recovery Following Revascularization-2 trial – determining outcome of revascularization versus medical therapy are available, clinicians will have reliable data for making decisions concerning the optimum treatment strategy. At present, the choice of management still remains based on the data obtained from available retrospective trials or the state of art in the field.
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