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COURAGE Sub-study: PCI Outperforms Drugs-Only
Date:11/6/2007

PCI Provides Patients With Clogged Arteries Significant Added Benefits Over

Drugs, According to Nuclear Imaging Scans

WASHINGTON, Nov. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Patients with ischemia, or clogged arteries, benefit significantly from percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) when compared with optimal medical therapy, according to a nuclear sub-study of the COURAGE trial presented this week at the American Heart Association (AHA) in Orlando.

This sub-study is especially significant given that the COURAGE trial had previously called into question the relative effectiveness of PCI (which uses a combination of angioplasty, stents, and medications) compared to medications alone in the prevention of death and heart attack in patients with stable heart disease.

The Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI), the world's leading society of interventional cardiologists, questioned those findings from the beginning. SCAI noted that the COURAGE study excluded all but the most stable patients, including only those who were able to adhere to very strict medication and lifestyle-change requirements. COURAGE also enrolled patients only after their anatomy was determined, another significant study design limitation. Furthermore, the existing data had never suggested that angioplasty or stenting reduced the risk of death or heart attack in this population of stable patients.

"This new analysis confirms what interventional cardiologists have said all along -- when compared to using only drugs, PCI improves overall heart health and reduces debilitating chest pain by opening up blocked arteries," said Dr. Bonnie Weiner, President of The Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions.

Patients with stable coronary artery disease, especially those with a moderate to severe case, gained significant long-term health benefits from PCI when compared with a drugs-only approach, according to Dr. Leslee J. Shaw, the prin
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SOURCE Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions(SCAI)
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