Friday, June 6, 2008

Sucking Out Clots Improved Angioplasty Results

Researchers at University Medical Centre Groningen in the Netherlands have conducted a study that shows that thrombus aspiration—sucking clots out of arteries—just before angioplasty can reduce the mortality rate following heart attacks, according to the Los Angeles Times. About 5.6% of patients who received thrombus aspiration either died or suffered a second heart attack in the first year, compared with 9.9% of patients who only received angioplasty.

Expectations are that the procedure will be most useful for patients with larger clots or later angioplasties. These types of results are good news for people like me, with a family history of heart problems. I'm almost certain to have a heart attack at some point in time and anything that improves my chances of survival is good news. Then again, it should be pointed out that the company that sponsored the study is the company that makes the equipment used for the thrombus aspiration. So, as usual, I'd like to see some neutral follow-up studies conducted to demonstrate the same results.

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