December 13, 2017 – Stents?


Anchor lead: Should people with chest pain get stents placed in their heart? Elizabeth Tracey reports

People who have chest pain and are shown to have some blockage in their heart arteries are often treated with stents, a type of scaffold that helps keep the artery open. But now a new study shows that stents may not be that helpful. Michael Blaha, a cardiologist at Johns Hopkins, reviews the data.

Blaha: A recent study took patients with chest pain, took them to the cardiac catheterization laboratory, and in half the patients put in stents, and in half the patients did a sham procedure where no stents were placed. And remarkably, after two months there were no differences in the symptoms of chest pain between the group that got the stents and the group that got the sham procedure. This suggests that stents don’t necessarily relief symptoms in the short term, and it still stands to question in patients with stable coronary artery disease whether stents are always needed.  :32

Blaha says each person who is recommended to have stents should be individually evaluated to assess the suitability of the devices for their particular condition. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.