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SCIENCE FILE | Science in Brief

Study Gives Edge to Angioplasty Over Clot-Dissolving Medicines

June 05, 1997|From Times staff and wire reports

A large new study gives a slight edge to angioplasty over clot-dissolving drugs for the emergency treatment of heart attacks. Clot-dissolving medicines, such as tPA, are the standard at most hospitals, but some specialists believe that angioplasty performed quickly after the start of a heart attack is better.

The new study, reported in the June 5 New England Journal of Medicine, found that people who have angioplasty appear to do better during the first month after the heart attacks. Researchers discovered that 10% of patients receiving emergency angioplasty for their heart attacks died or suffered repeat heart attacks or strokes within one month, compared with 14% of those getting tPA. But the statistical differences largely disappear within six months.

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