Study shows equal effectiveness of two options for blocked arteries.
A ten-year research project just completed has found doctors have two options for patients with blocked arteries, and both of them have an almost equal rate of success, according to an article on UPI.
Research coordinated from the Mayo Clinic, Rutgers University and the University of Alabama in Birmingham involved work at 117 medical centers in the United States and Canada. Phase One of the study, the Asymptomatic Carotid Trial (ACT I) conducted over a five-year period revealed stents or surgery to alleviate the problem of blocked arteries were equally safe, with fewer strokes recorded by surgery patients, and fewer heart attacks in patients who underwent a stent insertion procedure.
The Phase Two section of the trial was a ten-year study involving 2,502 patients who had either surgery or stents, and who were evaluated every six months for the 10-year cycle. This trial, called Carotid Revascularization Endarterectomy versus Stenting Trial (CREST), found no significant difference between either group participatiing in the study.
During the ten-year evaluation period, 11.8 percent of the patients with stents went on to have an heart attack, compared to 9.9 percent of the group who underwent surgery. Also, 6.9 percent of the group with stents and 5.6 percent of the surgery patients later had a stroke. The study also found both groups had about the same amount of narrowing in their arteries.
Dr. Thomas Brott, a neurologist at the Mayo Clinic, said in a press release, “This second phase completes a story, and the results are very encouraging. We have two safe procedures. We know now that they are very effective in the long run. Now the patient and the physician have the option to select surgery or stenting, based on that individual patient’s medical condition and preferences.”
Brott added the low rate shows these two procedures are safe and very durable in preventing strokes, and continued by saying Medicare-age patients with narrowing carotid arteries are living longer, and the durability of these procedures will be comforting to the patients and their families.
Findings from the studies were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.