Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Drugs Equal Benefits of Artery Stents

Was it for this my life I sought?
Maybe so and maybe not
-Phish, Stash
I don't really have anything to add to the New York Times article, which explores the study in remarkable detail impressive even for the NYT. Except that this, like any study, isn't the final say in the debate. It's just a really loud and integral portion of the debate.

But this has to be required reading for anyone in medicine or health policy and economics. Or anyone screwed with a load of Boston Scientific stock.

4 comments:

Michael said...

Some related topics:
Most Angioplasties Unneeded, Study Finds:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070326/ap_on_he_me/stents_vs__drugs;_ylt=Aih1uBttzp2oPCNUZW2TIEta24cA

Drug-coated heart stents carry higher risk: study:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070324/hl_nm/heart_stents_denmark_dc_3

but all is not lost...

Abbott bioabsorbable stent shows promise-study:
http://www.reuters.com/article/companyNewsAndPR/idUSN2427432720070324

Geoff said...

I was actually down in New Orleans when they made this announcement. Let me tell you, quite the buzz around the cardiology world in anticipation of the announcement. That being said, I don't think anyone should be too suprised. It makes complete sense. People tend to forget that it is not the 70% stable plaque that is at risk for rupture and subsequent MI, but rather the smaller and less stable 10-20% plaque that we need to worry about most often. However, if you take a stent and crack open that 70% plaque, you've now created an unstable area and may be putting your patient at risk for a subsequent MI. Statin therapy (on the other hand) does have amazing ability to prevent MI development in at risk patients. Of course, the holy grail of cardiology would be some sort of test that can predict the vulnerability of a plaque for rupture... maybe we'll see that sometime during the lifetime of our practices!

Garrett said...

Geoff, you should really patent the terminal-exclamation point. If that's not your trademark, I don't know what is.

Geoff said...

I just like enthusiasm, what can I say?!?!?!