Toronto General Hospital, University Health Network

Toronto General Hospital, University Health Network

November 16, 2006 10:30 ET

Major Shift in Treatment of Select Heart Patients

Attention: Assignment Editor, Health/Medical Editor, Lifestyle Editor, News Editor, Science Editor TORONTO, ONTARIO, MEDIA ADVISORY--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 16, 2006) -

A major shift in the treatment of select heart patients days and weeks after heart attacks is warranted due to the results of a landmark clinical trial, says Dr. Vlad Dzavik, the study chair of TOSCA-2, director of the cardiac cath lab and interventional cardiology at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre at Toronto General Hospital, University Health Network. The study showed that stable patients who have blocked arteries in the days and weeks after a heart attack do not need angioplasties and stent procedures, unless they have further chest pains despite medical therapy. The study looked at 381 Canadian and international patients who had blocked arteries three to 28 days after a heart attack, over the span of six years, and is part of the largest randomized, controlled trial on the efficacy of late interventions after heart attacks.

Dr. Vlad Dzavik, who is also Bromptom Group Professor in Interventional Cardiology at the University of Toronto, said that -- contrary to current practice and treatment bias - there is no benefit to opening a closed artery late, i.e. days to weeks after the heart attack. "These results will have major impact on the care of heart attack patients who are stable after their attack," he said, adding that "based on this latest new evidence, the need for many stenting procedures performed in Canada every year in these patients will be reduced. In fact, medical therapy alone can help these patients. "

However, it should be emphasized that this therapy is beneficial when performed quickly after heart attacks and patients should seek medical attention if they experience chest pains or shortness of breath.

Dr. Dzavik is available for media interviews this Thursday Nov 16 and Friday Nov 17 and in the weeks after. /For further information:

William Pointon
Public Affairs and Communications
University Health Network
416-340-4636 IN: HEALTH

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