Double-Blind Study Shows Little Heart Benefit from Stents

(p. B3) A new study raised questions about the benefits of a relatively common procedure for heart patients–implanting tiny devices that prop open clogged arteries to relieve chest pain.
The 200-patient study conducted by U.K. researchers found that patients with stable chest pain, or angina, who received stent devices experienced no significant improvement in exercise time on a treadmill, compared with similar patients who received no stents during sham procedures.
All patients had received intensive treatment with heart drugs for six weeks before the real or fake procedures.
“Symptoms didn’t improve as much as expected” in the patients who received stents, Rasha Al-Lamee, an interventional cardiologist at Imperial College London and one of the study’s lead investigators, said in an interview. She presented results of the study at the Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics medical conference in Denver; results were simultaneously published online Thursday [November 2, 2017] by The Lancet.

For the full story, see:
Peter Loftus. “Study Questions Some Stent Use.” The Wall Street Journal (Friday, Nov. 3, 2017): B3.
(Note: bracketed date added.)
(Note: the online version of the story has the date Nov. 2, 2017, and has the title “Study Raises Questions About Stents in Some Heart Patients.”)

The Lancet article, summarized above, is:
Al-Lamee, Rasha, David Thompson, Hakim-Moulay Dehbi, Sayan Sen, Kare Tang, John Davies, Thomas Keeble, Michael Mielewczik, Raffi Kaprielian, Iqbal S. Malik, Sukhjinder S. Nijjer, Ricardo Petraco, Christopher Cook, Yousif Ahmad, James Howard, Christopher Baker, Andrew Sharp, Robert Gerber, Suneel Talwar, Ravi Assomull, Jamil Mayet, Roland Wensel, David Collier, Matthew Shun-Shin, Simon A. Thom, Justin E. Davies, Darrel P. Francis, Rasha Al-Lamee, David Thompson, Sayan Sen, Kare Tang, John Davies, Thomas Keeble, Raffi Kaprielian, Iqbal S. Malik, Sukhjinder S. Nijjer, Ricardo Petraco, Christopher Cook, Yousif Ahmad, James Howard, Matthew Shun-Shin, Amarjit Sethi, Christopher Baker, Andrew Sharp, Punit Ramrakha, Robert Gerber, Suneel Talwar, Ravi Assomull, Rodney Foale, Jamil Mayet, Roland Wensel, Simon A. Thom, Justin E. Davies, Darrel P. Francis, Ramzi Khamis, Nearchos Hadjiloizou, Masood Khan, Jaspal Kooner, Michael Bellamy, Ghada Mikhail, Piers Clifford, Peter O’Kane, Terry Levy, and Rosie Swallow. “Percutaneous Coronary Intervention in Stable Angina (ORBITA): A Double-Blind, Randomised Controlled Trial.” The Lancet 391, no. 10115 (Jan. 6, 2018): 31-40.

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