September 9, 2011

MOST ISN'T BEST:

'Brain stents' for stroke patients do more harm than good, study shows (Rob Stein, September 7, 2011, Washington Post)

The Gateway-Wingspan system, a device modeled on stents used for heart patients, was approved in 2005 in the hopes of protecting thousands of patients at high risk for suffering a devastating stroke. Patients using it suffered more strokes and deaths than those simply aggressively treated with drugs and advice, the study found.

An independent panel monitoring the experiment halted the research prematurely in April when that pattern became clear. The New England Journal of Medicine published the results early online Wednesday because of the immediate public health implications.

"Without the trial, this procedure seemed destined to become the standard of care," said H. Gilbert Welch, a professor of medicine at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice. "With it, we have another example in which the best medical care is not the most medical care."


Posted by at September 9, 2011 8:43 AM
  

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