Sun 04 March 2018
A multicentre blinded randomised trial (ORBITA: LANCET Volume 391, No. 10115, p31–40, 6 January 2018) compared coronary stent insertion versus placebo (doing nothing) in patients with stable angina. The results suggested no benefit in patients receiving stents in terms of exercise capacity.
The implications of this study in the field of cardiology is enormous and will likely result in the revision of international guidelines on the indications and use of coronary stents in stable patients with coronary disease. If you are interested, I found a very well written review in The New York Times which you can read here.
In patients with severe coronary disease which affects all three regions of the heart (known as triple vessel disease), commissioners of healthcare are recommending multi-disciplinary review between cardiologists and surgeons in order to ensure that the most beneficial treatment strategy is offered to the patient for not just the short term, but also to ensure the best medium and long term outcome.
For now, if you have been told that you have blocked arteries it may be useful to know that the quickest and most attrractive solution may not actually necessarily be the best treatment for you. Watch this space!