The procedure which is used to provide relief to all the heart patients from chest pain every year is useless for many of them, as per a new study. The procedure includes inserting stents, tiny wire cages so as to open the blocked arteries may not be useful at all if the research is to be believed.
The stents are considered to be lifesaving devices and used the most often in patients who have blocked artery. Sometimes patients even insert stents when they have no pain but just blockages.
As a matter of fact, heart disease accounts for the maximum number of deaths in the United States with cases of 7,90,000 heart attacks every year. Stenting is a common treatment in majority of the hospitals in the US.
Researchers have claimed that over 5,00,000 heart patients all over the world opt for insertion of stents in order to relieve chest pain.
The new research which was published in the Lancet has shocked the cardiologists all over the world by countering the clinical experience of so many years. This is not all, as the latest study raises questions on whether stents must be used so frequently to treat chest pain or not.
According to a report in New York Times, Dr. Justin E. Davies and his colleagues conducted the study on 200 patients who had severely blocked coronary artery and also acute chest pain.
The patients were treated for a period of six weeks with drugs so as to reduce the risk of a heart attack. They were treated with aspirin, a statin and a blood-pressure drug which are known to relieve the chest pain by openings our blood vessels.
The participants then underwent a procedure known as real or fake insertion of a stent. In both the groups, the doctors threaded a catheter through the patient's groin or wrist and up to the blocked artery.
After the catheter reached the site, a stent was inserted by the doctor. Under the fake procedure, the catheter was pulled out. Neither the subjects nor the experts who later on checked them had any idea who had received a stent.
Those patients who received stents had greater improved blood flow through the artery which was blocked earlier. After six weeks, the researchers analysed the patients and found out that both the groups' members reported lesser chest pain and they went on to do better in the treadmill tests.
However, the scientists found out that there was no real difference between both the groups. The group which received the fake procedure did as well as the one which got stents.