Thursday, December 18, 2008

Study asks: are physicians overusing an invasive cardiac treatment?

"Researchers are asking if cardiology patients receive intervention-type treatments, such as stents, too often and too quickly. In regions of the country (USA) where cardiologists perform high numbers of cardiac catheterizations to diagnose heart problems, patients may be receiving a treatment known as percutaneous cardiac intervention (PCI) more than they need or want, according to a study published online this week in the journal Circulation. The study will also be in the journal's December 16/23 print edition. In the study, Maine Medical Center researchers analyzed the relationship between cardiac catheterizations and the two most common invasive cardiac treatments used to restore blood flow -- PCI and coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery. They found a very high correlation between cardiac catheterization rates and PCI rates; researchers noted a much weaker connection between cardiac catheterization and the number of CABGs" - PRNewswire

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