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Delayed angioplasty -- big bucks, no bang
Date:11/5/2007

ute, led a team that measured various aspects of quality of life, including physical functioning, emotional and social well-being, activity level and the presence and intensity of pain. They also calculated the medical costs the U.S. patients incurred during that period. They were looking for was secondary benefits that might further justify the high cost of PCI.

Mark said that the patients who got PCI plus standard medical therapy enjoyed slightly better physical functioning and less pain four months into treatment, but that these benefits did not last over time. In addition, the team discovered that it cost $10,000 more in doctor and hospital costs to treat the PCI patients.

What we have here is one of those cases where less is more, says Mark. While it may seem that going an extra step in opening up clogged arteries late in the game makes sense, we know that clinically, it doesnt seem to offer the advantages we expected. In addition, the minimal initial benefits that patients with PCI enjoyed diminished over time. Coupling that with the higher cost, we now know that adding PCI to standard medical care in opening blocked arteries more than a day after a heart attack is not good value. In an era when the high cost of health care is the subject of intense debate, this study offers us one way we can offer high quality care for less money.


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Contact: Michelle Gailiun
michelle.gailiun@duke.edu
919-724-5343
Duke University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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