Drug Cuts Stroke Risk During Bypass Surgery

Dangers reduced by 47 percent in these patients, study says

THURSDAY, Sept. 16, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- The drug aprotinin reduces the risk of stroke by 47 percent in people undergoing coronary artery bypass surgery, says a study in the current issue of the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery.

The study authors analyzed data from 35 previous bypass studies and found the use of aprotinin reduced the need for blood transfusion by 39 percent. Blood transfusions during coronary artery bypass surgery have been associated with increased stroke risk.

Stroke and neurological injury occurs in about 5 percent of bypass surgeries.

"Our results highlight that aprotinin therapy might be recommended in all primary [bypass] surgeries after applicability to individual centers and patients is considered," lead investigator Dr. Artyom Sedrakyan, a researcher at Yale University School of Medicine and lecturer at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said in a prepared statement.

"About 10 strokes could be avoided in every 1,000 [bypass] patients with the use of aprotinin, which is a substantial stroke reduction benefit," Sedrakyan said.

More information

The Texas Heart Institute has more about coronary artery bypass surgery.

SOURCE: Yale University, news release, September 2004
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