What Predicts Angioplasty Results?

November 10, 1998

Answer Is Not In Procedure's Success

HAIFA, Israel, November 10, 1998 -- After a 10-year study, researchers at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology found that long-term results after balloon angioplasty were determined by whether the patient had diabetes or hypertension and the degree of coronary heart disease. These factors, rather than the immediate success of the angioplasty or the extent to which angioplasty restored blood supply to the heart, determined success. The findings are reported in the September 1, 1998 American Journal of Cardiology.

Drs. David Halon, Amnon Merdler and their associates followed-up on 227 patients who had undergone balloon angioplasty. After 10 years, patients with diabetes mellitus had a lower survival rate, as did those with previous myocardial infarction or disease affecting three vessels. A history of hypertension, although not a significant predictor of overall survival, was an important predictor of cardiac survival, the researchers said.

Of the three conditions, the presence of diabetes was the strongest predictor of poor survival. Their findings showed that only 59% of those with diabetes, compared to 83% of those without diabetes, survived 10 years.

By contrast, survival at 10 years was the same in 199 patients whose angioplasty was completed and in the 25 whose angioplasty was not successful, in many of whom bypass surgery was required.

During balloon angioplasty, cardiologists attempt to restore blood supply by eliminating areas of narrowing caused by plaque in the blood vessel. They use a flexible balloon catheter that is inserted into an artery through a skin puncture. The inflatable balloon at the catheter tip is positioned under x-ray control at the site of the narrowing of the blood vessel. The balloon is inflated to flatten the plaque that is obstructing the vessel against the vessel wall.

The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology commands a world-wide reputation for its pioneering work in communications, computer science, biotechnology, water-resource management, materials engineering, aerospace and medicine, among others. The majority of Israel's engineers are Technion graduates, as are most of the founders and managers of its high-tech industries. The university's 11,000 students and 700 faculty study and work in the Technion's 19 faculties and 30 research centers and institutes in Haifa. The American Technion Society based in New York City, with 16 satellite offices, is the university's support organization in the United States.
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American Society for Technion - Israel Institute of Technology

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