Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Safety of Neck Stents Debated

Article in the New York Times -- Safety of Neck Stents Debated, by Barnaby J. Feder:

    While safety concerns in the $6 billion heart stent market have taken top billing
    at the annual meeting here of thousands of doctors who implant such devices,
    doctors who have been using a similar type of stent in neck arteries to reduce
    stroke risks are also on the defensive.

    The flashpoint for debate was the recent publication in two prestigious medical
    journals of studies from Europe questioning whether the neck stenting was as safe
    or effective as the traditional therapy, a form of surgery known as an endarterectomy.

    Those studies found a higher rate of strokes and deaths among patients who received
    the neck stents. Doctors at a news conference here today responding to those reports
    said both studies had flaws that made their conclusions unreliable.


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