Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Heart Disease Health Center

Font Size

Radiation Therapy May Help Mend a Broken Heart

continued...

Moses says the study group has subsequently solved the blood-clotting problem by implanting fewer stents and treating patients with anticlotting drugs for longer periods. Some 500 radiated patients treated in this manner had late thrombosis rates that were no different from patients who did not receive radiation, he says.

"In retrospect, it is obvious that patients should stay on [anticlotting] therapy, but we certainly didn't know that when we started out," he says. "We believe the strategy we have now is safe and effective. Patients who would have previously faced bypass surgery when stenting failed now have an effective technique to avoid surgery."

In a separate study, conducted at research centers across Europe, the use of beta radiation for the prevention of artery reclogging following angioplasty was evaluated. Again, researchers found a dramatic reduction in arterial renarrowing after beta radiation was given.

Like the U.S. group, the European researchers reported a big increase in blood clotting among patients receiving stents, but they also concluded that this problem could be successfully addressed with an appropriate drug-treatment strategy.

"The concerns we had about late thrombosis in the Gamma One Trial, and in previous studies, have been settled now that we have extended the [anticlotting] therapy and have tried to eliminate the introduction of new stents," Gamma One Trial author Martin D. Leon, MD, tells WebMD. "There are about 150,000 cases of [artery reblocking after stenting] each year in the U.S. alone, so you can imagine that a fair number of patients are now going to get this therapy."

1|2

Today on WebMD

cholesterol lab test report
Article
Compressed heart
Article
 
heart rate graph
Article
Compressed heart
Article
 
empty football helmet
Article
Heart Valve
Video
 
eating blueberries
Article
Simple Steps to Lower Cholesterol
Slideshow
 
Inside A Heart Attack
SLIDESHOW
Omega 3 Sources
SLIDESHOW
 
Salt Shockers
SLIDESHOW
lowering blood pressure
SLIDESHOW