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Science Briefing

Angioplasties via wrist are helpful

August 23, 2008|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

The best path to a clogged heart may sometimes be through the wrist.

About a million artery-clearing angioplasties are performed in the United States each year, and the usual route is a tube to the heart threaded through an artery in the groin.

Now a major study shows that going through the wrist instead can significantly lower the risk of bleeding -- without the discomfort of lying flat for hours while the incision site seals.

Just 1 in 100 angioplasties is done via the wrist, and the approach isn't for everyone. But because of the study, published Monday in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Cardiovascular Interventions, more specialists are likely to use the method.

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