-- Robert Preidt
TUESDAY, Aug. 30 (HealthDay News) -- The extent of heart muscle
damage in heart attack patients isn't reduced by inserting a
balloon pump into the aorta -- the body's main artery from the
heart -- before performing a surgery to clear clogged blood vessels
known as angioplasty, a new study finds.
The balloon pump, or intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP), is
designed to increase blood supply to the heart in order to reduce
its workload. Animal studies have suggested this emergency measure
-- generally temporary -- might reduce the amount of heart muscle
damage caused by a heart attack, but Duke University Medical Center
researchers found that's not the case in humans.
Their study compared 161 heart attack patients with the most
serious kind of heart attack (known as a STEMI) who received a
balloon pump prior to angioplasty and 176 patients who had
angioplasty without such therapy.
There was no significant difference in the amount of heart
muscle damage between the two groups.
The group who received the balloon pump had more short-term
medical complications, including major bleeding and vascular
problems, than the control group receiving standard care.
However, at six months, only three patients (1.9 percent) who
underwent the balloon pump procedure had died, compared with nine
of the group (5.2 percent) who received standard care.
Although the study was not designed to examine clinical
outcomes, the researchers were pleased with the low mortality rate
(under 5 percent) in the group that received the intra-aortic
balloon pump therapy.
"While routine use of IABC is not recommended, physicians should be vigilant about identifying patients who are at risk for rapid deterioration and may benefit from [it]," said cardiologist and principal investigator Dr. Manesh Patel in a Duke University news release.
The study was published online August 30 in the
Journal of the American Medical Society and presented at a
meeting of the European Society of Cardiology.
The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has more
heart attack treatment.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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