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Heart Stent Study Questions Use of Devices for Many

Image: Heart Stent Study Questions Use of Devices for Many

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By    |   Friday, 03 Nov 2017 09:56 AM

A new heart stents says the devices may not be necessary to relieve chest pain for many patients.

Researchers at Imperial College London presented their findings on Thursday, suggesting that the relief in chest pain among patients who received stents could largely be due to a placebo effect, CBS News noted.

The new study, which was published in The Lancet, calls into question the general consensus that the placement of a stent could provide drastic relief of chest pain.

The American Heart Association describes this device as a tiny wire mesh tube used to prop open an artery.

The build-up of fatty deposits can reduce the coronary artery and lead to a reduction of blood flow to the heart, ultimately causing chest pain, or angina.

For years medical professionals have touted the use of a stent as the most effective solution for treating this condition, however, this new study casts doubts.

Dr Rasha Al-Lamee, lead author of the study from the National Heart and Lung Institute at Imperial College London, explained in a statement that patients are commonly given stents to unblock the coronary artery during heart attacks.

"However, we also place stents into patients who are getting pain only on exertion caused by narrowed, but not blocked arteries," Al-Lamee said. "It's this second group that we studied."

What the randomised, placebo-controlled study of 200 patients with stable angina found was that, although the stents may improve blood supply, they did not provide more relief of symptoms compared to drug treatments.

Al-Lamee pointed out that the findings did not mean that patients should never undergo the procedure for stable angina.

"It may be that some patients opt to have an invasive procedure over taking long-term medication to control their symptoms."

While these findings may change the way the medical profession views the use of stents, The New York Times noted that ethics boards at hospitals, universities and patients in the U.S. could be resistant to the news.

"It's not just up to us," said Dr. David Goff, director of cardiovascular sciences at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

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A new heart stents says the devices may not be necessary to relieve chest pain for many patients.
heart, stent, study, patients
Friday, 03 Nov 2017 09:56 AM
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