Stroke risk higher after bypass than angioplasty: analysis

August 21, 2012 By Kathleen Doheny, HealthDay Reporter
Stroke risk higher after bypass than angioplasty:  analysis
About 1 in 80 surgery patients, 1 in 300 angioplasty patients have stroke complication, new review shows.

(HealthDay News) -- The potential for a stroke is far more common after a bypass than after angioplasty, new research reports, even though the risk after either heart procedure is still relatively low.

A team of researchers analyzed the results of 19 clinical trials involving nearly 11,000 patients who were assigned randomly to get (CABG) or angioplasty, also called PCA (percutaneous ), a procedure in which a balloon is used to re-open the .

"At 30 days, stroke was about four times more common with compared to PCA," said study author Dr. Gregg Stone, a professor of medicine at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City.

Stroke is an important complication to track, Stone noted, adding, "Next to death, it is probably the most feared complication."

The new analysis is published online Aug. 21 in JACC: . It will also be published in the Aug. 28 issue of the .

In bypass surgery, a healthy artery or vein taken from the patient is grafted, or connected, to other arteries in the heart to bypass the blocked vessel. In angioplasty, a catheter is inserted into the vessel to the point of blockage, and then a balloon is inflated to clear it. Sometimes a stent is used to keep open the vessel.

Stone's team looked at the patients' stroke rates 30 days and a year after the procedures.

At 30 days, 1.2 percent of the surgery patients had suffered a stroke, compared with .34 percent of the angioplasty patients. At the one-year mark, 1.83 percent of the and .99 percent of the angioplasty patients had had a stroke.

Put another way: "The likelihood of stroke is about 1 in 80 for patients who have surgery and 1 in 300 for patients who have angioplasty," Stone said.

The finding held, he added, even after researchers took into account the extent of disease and other variables.

While some patients clearly need surgery, Stone said, some have disease that could be treated either way. For those patients, he said, the findings about stroke can be weighed into their decision about which treatment to choose.

The study findings echo what cardiologists have long believed, said Dr. Kirk Garratt, director of interventional cardiology at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

In bypass surgery, he said, there is naturally more trauma to the body than there is during angioplasty.

The new analysis, he said, "confirms what has been accepted by cardiologists."

While some patients have the option of either procedure, such as patients with only one or two blockages, surgery is indicated if a patient has multiple blockages, Garratt added.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hospital discharge data from 2009 shows about 415,000 bypass graft surgeries and 605,000 angioplasties or atherectomy (a similar procedure) were done that year.

Explore further: Tears during coronary angioplasty: Where are they and how do they affect patient outcomes?

More information: To learn more about heart disease, go to the American Heart Association.


Related Stories

Tears during coronary angioplasty: Where are they and how do they affect patient outcomes?

March 24, 2012
Researchers from Thomas Jefferson University Hospital discovered that blockages in the right coronary artery and those in bending areas of the coronary artery are the most common places for dissection, a tear in the artery ...

Increased stroke risk at 30-days post-CABG versus PCI

August 21, 2012
(HealthDay) -- The risk of stroke at 30 days is significantly higher in patients who undergo coronary revascularization with coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery compared to those who undergo percutaneous coronary ...

Angioplasty with stents may be safe in long-term for low-risk heart patients

June 22, 2011
Heart bypass surgery is considered the gold standard for most patients with left main coronary artery disease, one of the most serious types of heart disease and one that affects thousands.

Recommended for you

Researchers investigate the potential of spider silk protein for engineering artificial heart

August 18, 2017
Ever more people are suffering from cardiac insufficiency, despite significant advances in preventing and minimising damage to the heart. The main cause of reduced cardiac functionality lies in the irreversible loss of cardiac ...

Lasers used to detect risk of heart attack and stroke

August 18, 2017
Patients at risk of heart attacks and strokes may be spotted earlier thanks to a diagnosis tool that uses near-infrared light to identify high-risk arterial plaques, according to research carried out at WMG, University of ...

Cholesterol crystals are sure sign a heart attack may loom

August 17, 2017
A new Michigan State University study on 240 emergency room patients shows just how much of a role a person's cholesterol plays, when in a crystallized state, during a heart attack.

How Gata4 helps mend a broken heart

August 15, 2017
During a heart attack, blood stops flowing into the heart; starved for oxygen, part of the heart muscle dies. The heart muscle does not regenerate; instead it replaces dead tissue with scars made of cells called fibroblasts ...

Injectable tissue patch could help repair damaged organs

August 14, 2017
A team of U of T Engineering researchers is mending broken hearts with an expanding tissue bandage a little smaller than a postage stamp.

'Fat but fit' are at increased risk of heart disease

August 14, 2017
Carrying extra weight could raise your risk of heart attack by more than a quarter, even if you are otherwise healthy.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.