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Results from Abbott's PROSPECT Study Provide New Insight into Role of Vulnerable Plaque in Coronary Artery Disease
Date:9/24/2009

w in coronary arteries unless their rupture results in a clot.

Among the findings of the 700-patient study, researchers were able to identify the common characteristics of lesions that put patients at highest risk for future cardiac events by using advanced imaging called virtual histology intravascular ultrasound (VH(R) IVUS) and standard angiography. Going forward, investigators will now have access to more than 40,000 datapoints derived from 150 variables within each of the patients, far beyond the level of assessment of previous interventional studies.

"While the prognosis of patients with acute coronary syndromes undergoing successful stenting and treated with contemporary medical therapy is favorable, we are now able to identify those lesion types with a significantly increased likelihood of causing future cardiovascular events," Stone said.

The PROSPECT study recruited patients who were in need of a PCI (percutaneous coronary intervention) to treat a heart attack or threatened heart attack. Patients consented to collection of additional data as follow-up to their procedure, including VH IVUS imaging and standard angiography. PROSPECT collected data about characteristics of vulnerable plaque lesions that were present but not causing symptoms at the time of the procedure. The goal was to correlate lesion characteristics, patient risk factors and biomarker measurements with subsequent heart attacks and other cardiac events, potentially paving the way for physicians to identify and treat at-risk patients before a heart attack occurs.

Study Findings

In the study, approximately 20 percent of the patient population experienced a major adverse cardiac event (cardiac death, cardiac arrest or heart attack) within three years of enrollment. Half of these events can be attributed to the original "culprit" lesions (those treated with PCI) and half to previously untreated,
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