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SAPPHIRE trial shows long-term benefit of carotid stenting as alternative to surgery
Date:4/10/2008

Washington, D.C. (April 10, 2008) Carotid artery stenting is an effective option for high risk patients who are not eligible for surgery, according to a long-term study published in this weeks New England Journal of Medicine. Carotid artery disease, which involves clogging of the arteries in the neck that provide blood to the brain, is a significant risk factor for stroke, making these study results important for the estimated 200,000 Americans each year who would otherwise not be candidates for the treatment.

The SAPPHIRE trial showed patients undergoing carotid stenting were comparably protected from stroke, heart attack, death, and repeat revascularization procedures as patients who underwent the traditional surgical approach (endarterectomy). SAPPHIRE is the first and longest (three years) randomized study to compare the safety and efficacy of carotid stenting with embolic protection to surgery in high risk patients. High risk patients are considered to be at increased risk for surgery because of prior carotid artery surgery, radiation to the neck, chronic heart failure, lung disease or severe coronary artery disease, among other criteria.

The Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI), the worlds leading society of interventional cardiologists, is encouraged by these positive data. Results are consistent with one-year SAPPHIRE data and echo conclusions from other non-randomized trials supporting the use of carotid stenting, particularly in patients with multiple illnesses.

This is more good news for patients who otherwise might not have treatment options, said Dr. Bonnie Weiner, president of the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions. Carotid artery stenting is an effective, safe way to help patients avoid debilitating and potentially fatal strokes. We are hopeful that this news will help pave the way for expanded use of this procedure.

Carotid Artery Stenting

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Contact: Kathy Boyd David
kbdavid@scai.org
712-422-1181
Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions
Source:Eurekalert

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