Heart Stents are not always Beneficial for treating Stable Angina (Chest Pain)

New findings in the field of cardiovascular research can transform patient care, a latest study proposes that the placebo effect of stents in heart disease patients with chest pain may be far more pronounced than thought.
That could mean that drug treatment alone, rather than the expensive, artery-opening cardiac stents, is all that’s required for most of the patients, the researchers said.
“The primary reason for considering a stent placement is to unblock the culprit artery that is causing a life-threatening heart attack. However, stents are also placed into patients who complain of chest pain on physical exertion caused by narrowed arteries of the heart. It’s the second group of patients that we studied,” explained lead author Rasha Al-Lamee, from National Heart and Lung Institute and Imperial College London.”
The researchers recruited 200 patients with stable angina who underwent six weeks of intense drug treatment for their angina. After that, they either received a stent or underwent a simulated procedure where no stent was inserted. The subjects who received stents did not show improvements in chest pain and quality of life compared to those who did not receive a stent.
Angina is the medical term for chest pain. It is typically caused by the build-up of fatty plaques in the coronary vessels. Stents aren’t cheap, either: The stent and its insertion costs from $11,000 to $41,000.
The study was published on the world wide web in The Lancet medical journal, to coincide with a presentation at a cardiology meet in Denver. Al -Lamee stated in a press release that “Surprisingly, even though the stents helped in increasing the blood supply to the affected part of the heart, however, they did not provide any relief of symptoms compared to previous drug treatments, at least in this patient group,”.
“While these conclusions are compelling and deserve more consideration. however, they do not suggest that patients should never undergo the [stent] placement for stable chest pain. There are several patients who opt to have an invasive procedure overtaking long-term medication to control the symptoms of chest pain,” she added.
The physicians plan to analyze their data further, to determine if there is a group of subjects whose chest pain improves after stenting.
“It seems that the connection between opening a blocked coronary artery and improving symptoms is not as simple as everyone had thought,” Al-Lamee said. “This is a unique trial of its kind, and [it] will help us to develop a better perception of stable angina, a symptom that affects so many of our patients every day.”
Writing in a commentary, concluding the report, a cardiologist stated the “landmark” study has implications that “are profound and far-reaching.” “First and foremost, the consequences of [the study] show that there are no benefits” for the use of stents compared to drug therapy for patients who are suffering from stable angina, said Dr. David Brown, of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and Dr. Rita Redberg, of the University of California, San Francisco.
In fact, based on the latest findings, Brown and Redberg believe that stents may not be useful in most of the case scenarios even when a patient’s angina fails to get better with medications.
“Based on this data, all cardiology guidelines should be updated to minimize the recommendation for [stents] in patients with stable angina,” whether or not they also received conventional drug therapy, the doctors said.
According to Brown and Redberg, every year over a half-million patients in Europe and united states undergo stent procedure — and a minority of these patients experience potentially serious complications that can include heart attack, stroke, kidney injury and even death. It is irresponsible to Subject these patients to undue risks when no benefit can be achieved.
The editorialists concluded that physicians need to put more emphasis on drug therapy and efforts at improving the lifestyle of many heart patients — things like bad diets, lack of activity and smoking.

Pros and Cons of Online cardiology consultation


Online medical consulting is a fast-growing sector in medicine. The obvious advantage is convenience. In today’s fast paced lifestyle, that is an important benefit. However, getting the best result for your specific issue must be primary. For that, nothing beats a face to face discussion and examination with a qualified physician.

There is,however, a valid place for online consulting and I will give you the pros and cons as it pertains to Cardiology Consultation . Heart Specialists, like all other medical professionals, must keep up with the latest methods of enhancing patient care.Offering Cardiac Consultation is one more way patients can get second opinions or further information about the cardiac issue they are facing.
That’s what happened when Andrea Lachman decided to seek an online second opinion. In her 40s, Lachman was diagnosed with a common heart condition called mitral valve prolapse which often requires no treatment except routine examinations. In some cases, medication is used. Last summer, during a routine checkup, her local cardiologist told her she required surgery. “I was absolutely terrified,” says Lachman. “I was feeling fine, and I just didn’t understand why surgery was recommended. I had absolutely no confidence in the treatment plan.”
As she was cruising the Internet looking for information, Lachman came across a heading that read, “Consultant Cardiologist.” So, she decided to get a second opinion. She believes her persistence paid off. Based on her medical records, the heart specialist she contacted for another opinion told her she didn’t require surgery, at least for now. “I was absolutely thrilled,” says Lachman. The hardest part of the experience was collecting her medical records. But once she got through that, “I felt empowered,” she says.

What is a cardiovascular consultation?

A cardiac consultation is an appointment with a cardiologist during which you discuss your heart health, as well as any factors that may influence your cardiovascular system.

Some of the Pros of Online Cardiac Consultation

Although I believe strict regulatory guidance and administration is required to help patients avoid online frauds, there are some clear advantages of online Cardiac Consultations.

Pros

• No Location Boundaries. This may be the most important advantage of these services. You gain access to well-respected doctors, from far and wide, that otherwise would not be available to you.

• Better than Self-Diagnosis. Relying on health and medical information provided by internet searches to self-diagnose your condition can be dangerous and misleading.

• Slightly Better than Telemedicine Services. Online doctor consultations have a slight advantage over telemedicine. You can take your time to write a detailed description of your condition. Also, you can submit your previous and current medical reports.

• 24/7 Health Support. Most online health service providers offer twenty-four-hour access to doctor consultation and the convenience of receiving important information without leaving home.

Some Cons of Online Cardiac Consultation

• Violation of privacy is a common issue in cyber space. It is important for the person seeking medical advice to research the site and the doctor carefully.

• The fact that there is no physical examination involved in the consultation can be a negative. Doctors are highly skilled at determining what is wrong with you by assessing your appearance and physically examining your body.

• Not all insurance companies cover online consultations so it is wise to check before deciding to use one.

• While the idea of tapping into the knowledge and expertise of specialists at other locations is appealing, the process can be cumbersome. Gathering the necessary medical records can involve calls and visits to several of your providers’ offices.

• In a world where hackers seem to rule, it can be risky to give an online medical practice your personal details so choose who you use carefully.

Final words

Reputable online doctors understand that your health is vitally important to you. They will respect your privacy and go the extra mile to ensure that you are 100% confident before offering an opinion. They will thoughtfully review the facts and tests they have been given to give you their best opinion on how they would handle your case.