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Controversies in Internal Medicine
December 12/26, 2005

Angioplasty Is Better Than Medical Therapy for Alleviating Chronic Angina Pectoris

Author Affiliations

ANN B.NATTINGERMD, MPHAuthor Affiliations: Fuqua Heart Center, Piedmont Hospital, Atlanta, Ga.

Arch Intern Med. 2005;165(22):2589-2592. doi:10.1001/archinte.165.22.2589

Therapy for ischemic heart disease has the potential for improving 2 types of outcomes: hard events such as death and myocardial infarction or symptoms. Evidence for prolongation of life comes by inference from similar conditions that have been treated surgically. Whereas percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) is certainly lifesaving in some subsets, a recent meta-analysis of 11 small controlled trials did not show improved survival.1 Various medical therapies have shown benefit in avoiding death and myocardial infarction separately and in combination. Such effective therapies should always be used to minimize these events. This article, therefore, will concentrate on the value of PCI to relieve the symptoms of chronic angina pectoris.

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