Monday, 18 June, 2018

Heart Stents Are Not A Solution For Chest Pain

Heart stents fail to ease chest pain - NYT Surprising Implications for Stent Patients in New Study
Ben Pena | 05 November, 2017, 06:20

While one artery might be reopened with stents, blockages could obstruct other vessels later. But many stents are put in for chest pain, called angina.

Physicians treated all participants with medications such as statins and aspirin for six weeks to reduce the risk of heart attack.

A groundbreaking new experiment reveals that stents - mesh wire tubes inserted into narrow or weak arteries to widen them and increase blood flow - are no more effective than treating people with medicine when it comes to relieving stable angina, or chest pain. Neither the subjects nor the experts who later on checked them had any idea who had received a stent.

"While these findings are interesting and deserve more attention, they do not mean that patients should never undergo the [stent] procedure for stable angina". But only half were implanted with a heart stent.

Following the procedure, both groups of patients then took powerful drugs to prevent blood clots.

In the experiment, patients who received the stent didn't show any difference in chest pain symptoms or enhanced exercise performance compared to patients who underwent a sham procedure.

After six weeks, the researchers evaluated the participants on a treadmill tests and found that there were no significant differences on the amount of exercise the two groups could do or how much pain they reported.

Saudi Arabia: Missile 'intercepted near Riyadh'
Saudi Arabia's air defense forces have intercepted a missile north-east of the capital, al-Arabiya and the BBC reports. The missile was destroyed near Riyadh's King Khaled worldwide airport, which was functioning normally, it added.

Another reason USA scientists and institutions are reluctant to approve experiments with sham procedures is that they are still real, invasive procedures.

While stents can save lives in the aftermath of a heart attack, the results from the new study suggest people who get them inserted for chest pain - estimated at over 500,000 people every year around the globe - may be benefiting more from a placebo effect than from the device itself.

"I think this is a game-changer", Dr. Rita Redberg, a researcher and cardiologist at the University of California, San Francisco, told the Minneapolis Star Tribune, "I think we have some real explaining to do".

Just days ago, for example, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) warned that Abbot Vascular, Inc.'s Absorb G1 BVS System may expose patients to an increased risk of blood clots and adverse cardiac events. This could mean that medications alone could be enough to treat certain kinds of patients, instead of the more expensive stent that opens arteries.

The clinical trial also showed a 1.9% rate of developing blood clots within the Absorb stent versus 0.8% within the XIENCE stent at 2 years.

Everyone was wheeled into the operating room and underwent a procedure. However, the company maintained that the move was made for commercial reasons rather than safety concerns.

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