Late Angioplasty After Heart Attack Offers No Advantage Over Standard Drug Therapy
You've survived a heart attack caused by a blocked artery. Would having that artery unblocked by a procedure known as angioplasty be more advantageous than standard drug therapy? Maybe not, according to a study funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
Akinso: You've survived a heart attack caused by a blocked artery. Would having that artery unblocked by a procedure known as angioplasty be more advantageous than standard drug therapy? Maybe not, according to a study funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. The study challenges the long-standing belief that opening a blocked artery is always good according to co-author of the study Dr. Alice Mascette, a researcher with the NHLBI.
Mascette: What this means is this study shows that if you've had a recent but not immediate heart attack, that doing angioplasty in a stable situation doesn't give any long-term benefits that we can see in this study. Why I qualified that for not a immediate heart attack, I wanted to point out that there is already an established body of evidence that if you present with in the first several hours of a heart attack, opening the artery at that point is very, very beneficial. So perhaps one of the take home messages for the general public might be that if you have symptoms that you're concerned about that would possibly be heart attack symptoms you should seek care very, very quickly; because the time when we as physicians can do the most good is in those first few early hours after the onset of chest pain.
Akinso: In the study, a total of 2,166 patients in 27 countries were randomly treated with routine angioplasty with stenting combined with drug therapy while others were treated with drug therapy alone. Dr. Mascette said we should not forget that controlling the risk factors for heart disease, such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure can go a long way toward preventing heart disease in the first place. This is Wally Akinso at the National Institutes of Health Bethesda Maryland.
About This Audio Report
Reporter: Wally Akinso
Sound Bite: Dr. Alice Mascette
Topic: Heart Disease