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Two-Step Treatment Reduces Recurrence of Heart Attacks

August 10, 2000

A clot-busting drug that is standard treatment for heart attacks is less effective than a new technique in which surgeons put a small mesh tube in an artery and give the patient "super aspirin," a study indicates.

In the study of 140 patients, published in today's New England Journal of Medicine, doctors at the Deutsches Herzzentrum (German Heart Center) found that after six months, 8.5% of the patients given the two-part treatment had died or had strokes or more heart attacks. That figure compared with 23.2% of those who got the clot-buster tPA.

The new treatment limited damage to an average of 14.3% of the left ventricle, the muscular chamber that pumps blood out to the body, compared with 19.4% damage in tPA-treated hearts.

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--Compiled by Times medical writer Thomas H. Maugh II

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