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UCLA study compares bypass surgery to angioplasty
Date:4/13/2010

At 56, Tim Obrenski found himself getting so exhausted that he couldn't even pull weeds from his garden. A visit to the cardiologist uncovered a major blockage in his heart's left main artery, and he was told he needed bypass surgery.

Obrenski's search for alternatives to surgery brought him to UCLA interventional cardiologist Dr. Michael Lee. Lee told him that while heart bypass is the gold standard in most of these cases, angioplasty with stents could be an option for some who, like Obrenski, have a very specific disease type.

A more minimally invasive procedure than surgery, angioplasty is performed by snaking a tiny wire up through an artery in the groin to the blocked area of the heart. The clogged artery is cleaned out, and a stent a wire-mesh tube is placed in the artery to help keep it open, allowing blood to flow freely through the heart again.

A new UCLA study published in the April 15 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology compares the safety and efficacy of heart bypass surgery to angioplasty with drug-eluting stents in patients with left main coronary artery disease, a diagnosis affecting thousands of individuals. Drug-eluting stents are treated with a medication that helps keep the artery from reclosing.

"With the advent of more minimally invasive heart procedures, the medical field is exploring additional options for treating patients beyond surgical standards," said Lee, an assistant professor of cardiology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. "Studies such as ours will help us better understand the impact of these new procedures and their role as possible new treatment options."

The researchers performed a review of the literature and then analyzed mortality and risk factors in eight clinical studies comparing the two procedures. The clinical studies took place between 2000 and 2009 and involved more than 2,900 patients.

Researchers found that th
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Contact: Rachel Champeau
rchampeau@mednet.ucla.edu
310-794-2270
University of California - Los Angeles
Source:Eurekalert

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