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International Symposium on Endovascular Therapy, Jan. 20-24, 2008

20th Annual International Symposium on Endovascular Therapy

The 20th Annual International Symposium on Endovascular Therapy (ISET) took place Jan. 20-24 in Hollywood, Fla., and attracted more than 1,200 endovascular specialists from around the world. Highlights included advances in treatment and techniques, live case demonstrations, a trans-Atlantic conference with specialists in London, and a debate over whether or not government regulation is driving scientific innovation overseas.

ISET program director Barry Katzen, M.D., of the Baptist Cardiac and Vascular Center in Miami, presented an update of the RESILIENT Trial in which 206 patients were randomly assigned to receive either percutaneous transluminal angioplasty of the femoral artery plus stenting with the self-expanding Edwards LifeStent NT or percutaneous transluminal angioplasty alone. "In terms of one-year patency, we're seeing a clear benefit to percutaneous transluminal angioplasty plus stenting over percutaneous transluminal angioplasty alone," Katzen said.

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During the "Bridging the Atlantic Through Medical Consensus" conference, ISET organizers polled ISET attendees and European professionals at the Charing Cross meeting in London about their views on stenting versus angioplasty in treating leg arteries. They found a strong difference of opinion. "Here, the split was 80-20 in favor of stents," Katzen said. "But over there, it was about 50-50. So American physicians seem to be convinced that stenting is superior to angioplasty alone while in Europe this view is not as well accepted."

The meeting featured an expanded number of live cases, which were transmitted for the first time in high definition from locations in the United States and abroad. "One of the most interesting live cases was on popliteal aneurysm," said ISET program co-director Alex Powell, M.D., of the Baptist Cardiac and Vascular Center in Miami. "We're starting to see an increase in the use of covered stents or stent grafts as an alternative to bypass surgery. But this procedure remains somewhat controversial."

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Other well-attended sessions included "Endovascular Forum Live," which included case presentations followed by audience participation through polling; and a new closed-door "Complications Session," during which physicians discussed unusual, unpredictable and disastrous cases after signing a confidentiality agreement. "This was an opportunity for people to share their complications with their peers in a protected environment," Powell said. "Hopefully, we can learn from that."

A town hall-style meeting -- "Innovation in the United States: Is It Going Elsewhere?" -- featured top medical experts such as Bram Zuckerman, M.D., director of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Division of Cardiovascular Devices. "We addressed whether or not the environment in the United States is driving innovation offshore, which would have a tremendous effect on American physicians and patients," Katzen said.

"The consensus was that American physicians and patients are disadvantaged compared to their European counterparts by not having access to the innovative technologies which are available in Europe," Katzen explained. "Nobody came up with a solution or who was to blame, but the reasons seem to be multifactorial," he added. "They include regulatory agencies making it more difficult for manufacturers to bring products to market and the cost of bringing such products to market. The 'death of innovation' is a significant concern to the endovascular community because less-invasive therapy has been a driving force in changing the status quo."

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ISET: Stroke Patients May Benefit from Intra-Arterial Therapy

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Stroke patients who don't respond to standard intravenous clot-busting therapy may respond to treatment with advanced intra-arterial therapy that directly targets clots in the brain, according to research presented this week at the 20th annual International Symposium on Endovascular Therapy in Hollywood, Fla.

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ISET: Peripheral Arterial Disease Prevalence Increasing

TUESDAY, Jan. 22 (HealthDay News) -- The prevalence of peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is increasing and it costs more to treat PAD than to treat coronary artery disease, according to research presented this week at the 20th annual International Symposium on Endovascular Therapy in Hollywood, Fla.

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ISET: Modified Stent May Prevent Thrombosis

TUESDAY, Jan. 22 (HealthDay News) -- A new cobalt chromium stent with a modified open-cell design and an ultra-thin coating of Polyzene-F may open and heal blocked coronary arteries without prompting formation of the potentially life-threatening blood clots associated with drug-eluting stents, according to research presented this week at the 20th annual International Symposium on Endovascular Therapy in Hollywood, Fla.

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