AHA Highlights: Improving Patient Care
The American Heart Association's scientific sessions in November 2007 presented new clinical data on drug-eluting stents, cardiac resynchronization, treatments for acute coronary syndrome, and better ways of diagnosing and treating myocardial infarction.
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Several interesting studies came out of this year's joint meeting of the American College of Cardiology and Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions. These studies--many of them about drug-eluting stents--will impact device manufacturers in both positive and negative ways.
Although safety concerns about drug-eluting stents have been mitigated somewhat by recent reports of more positive clinical data, there is lingering unease and confusion in the cardiology community about when, how, and in whom to use these devices. There is also a growing wave of healthy skepticism about the way stent trials are designed and conducted, and whether evidence- based medicine is well served by the current process.
The real story that came out of this year's Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT) meeting held in October in Washington, DC, is not the news per se regarding specific clinical trial results or new device technologies. Instead, it is the story behind the news. Interventional cardiology has been built on the back of evidence-based medicine. That methodology, however, has come under attack in the last year.