FRIDAY, Oct. 24, 2003 (HealthDayNews) -- Simultaneous stenting of coronary, carotid and several other arteries with significant atherosclerosis may save money and help patients avoid having to undergo multiple stenting procedures.
That good news comes from an Austrian study in the November issue of Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions.
This is the first published study to assess this treatment approach.
"If other studies confirm our results, I think almost every suitable patient should be considered a candidate for a simultaneous approach," lead author Dr. Robert Hofman of City-Hospital Linz, says in a prepared statement.
"The most important benefit is that the patient can have several different problems treated during one single session. That allows them to avoid multiple trips to the catheterization lab, multiple punctures of the femoral artery, and possibly prevents them from having an unnecessarily long hospital stay or readmission," Hofman says.
The study included 295 people having elective stenting of a significantly narrowed carotid artery, the major supplier of blood to the brain. In 67 of the patients, stents were also placed in other arteries with significant atherosclerosis at the same time that they had stenting of the carotid artery.
Atherosclerosis reduces the flow of blood and increases the risk of stroke and heart attack. Stenting opens up the arteries to improve blood flow.
Among the patients who had the multiple stenting, there were two transient ischemic strokes (2.9 percent) and one minor stroke (1.6 percent). Among the patients who had only stenting of the carotid artery, there were 16 transient ischemic strokes (6.6 percent), five major strokes (2.2 percent) and three deaths (1.2 percent).
"Although there were more complications in the noncombined intervention group, this does not mean that combined interventions are lower-risk procedures," Hofman adds.
Here's where you can learn more about atherosclerosis.