Stents not effective? Study sparks debate pt. 1

U.K. PCI study sparks U.S. debate

On Wednesday, November 1, results from the Objective Randomized Blinded Investigation with Optimal Medical Therapy of Angioplasty in Stable Angina (ORBITA) study were published in The Lancet.

The next day, this article was published in the New York Times:

"A procedure used to relieve chest pain in hundreds of thousands of heart patients each year is useless for many of them," it began... "The new study, published in the Lancet, stunned leading cardiologists by countering decades of clinical experience. The findings raise questions about whether stents should be used so often—or at all—to treat chest pain."

Without further knowledge, the debate may start right here—the New York Times article had little in the way of medical detail to satisfy invasive cardiovascular professionals and may have further generalized results in a misleading manner.

But let's hold off on reacting, look at the debate surrounding this particular study and also place the findings in a wider context (part two). Note: this isn't the first time it has been suggested that stents are overused.

Continue reading Stents not effective? Study sparks debate pt. 1

“Absorb” Approved; Bioresorbable, Drug-coated Stent to Roll Out “in a Phased Way”

Yesterday, the Food and Drug Administration approved Abbott's Absorb stent, the first fully dissolving stent to be approved by the FDA.

A 10-person FDA advisory panel, including Dr. George Vetrovec of Virginia Commonwealth University, voted unanimously in March to affirm that the stent's benefits and efficacy outweigh its risks. The same panel voted 9-1 in favor of its safety profile, despite the risk of blood clots for some patients.

"This is presumably a better technology going forward - at least that's the theory - but it will take years to prove," said Vetrovec to the Associated Press.

FDA approves Absorb with advisory panel warning

Continue reading “Absorb” Approved; Bioresorbable, Drug-coated Stent to Roll Out “in a Phased Way”