CBS News - "Heart Stents Might Not Be Effective In Easing Chest Pain, Study Says" - Dr. Max Gomez
A new study on heart stents produced sobering and possibly life-altering results. The new study in the journal The Lancet suggests that stents for what’s called ‘stable angina’ fail to ease chest pain. “Stent alone for single blockage of 70, 80 or 90 percent is not enough. We need to do additional tests,” said Samin Sharma, MD, dean for international clinical affiliations and professor of medicine and cardiology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Dr. Sharma explained that in the British study half the 200 volunteers actually had a sham procedure – a cardiac catheterizations without a stent. But neither they nor the doctors evaluating them knew who got a stent and who didn’t. Six weeks later, both groups of patients had equivalent pain scores and exercise tolerance. “The benefit of the stent may come later – it could be six months, nine months, or one year,” Dr. Sharma added. He said additional sophisticated blood flow tests in hearts arteries could determine which angina patients would benefit from a stent. Again, the study does not mean that all stents are bad. Some definitely save lives during a heart attack. But if you have what’s called ‘stable angina,’ then you should ask your doctor about having heart artery blood flow tests to help tell if a stent will ease your chest pain.
- Samin Sharma, MD, Dean, International Clinical Affiliations, Professor, Medicine, Cardiology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai