Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Radiation May Prevent Re-Clogging Of Leg Arteries

Date:
November 30, 2000
Source:
American Heart Association
Summary:
Radiation therapy significantly reduced the re-clogging of blocked leg arteries, researchers report in one of the best-designed studies on the topic to date in the Nov. 28 issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

DALLAS, Nov. 28 – Radiation therapy significantly reduced the re-clogging of blocked leg arteries, researchers report in one of the best-designed studies on the topic to date in today’s Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

In this first double-blind, randomized trial testing radiation therapy to prevent restenosis (the reblockage of an artery), patients who received radiation therapy in addition to angioplasty had a 47 percent lower rate of reblockage six months after treatment than patients who underwent angioplasty alone, reports Erich Minar, M.D., professor in the Department of Angiology at the University of Vienna, General Hospital in Vienna.

Fatty deposits in the arteries leading to the legs and feet increase the risk of blood clots, which can block leg arteries. Treatment is a difficult problem because recurrence rates are high after angioplasty – a procedure in which a balloon-tipped catheter is threaded through the affected artery and inflated to widen the arterial opening.

Radiation is attracting interest for the treatment of blocked arteries because it inhibits overgrowth of smooth muscle cells, which contribute to the blockages.

In the Vienna study, 63 men and 50 women were assigned randomly after successful angioplasty either to receive an application of radiation known as brachytherapy or no further treatment.

In the brachytherapy procedure, a wire with a radioactive tip is threaded to the site, where it remains in place for three to five minutes and delivers a one-time dose of radiation.

This study defined restenosis as a re-narrowing of the artery by more than 50 percent compared with the diameter of normal segments of the afflicted artery.

One year after the treatment, the target arteries remained open in about 64 percent of the patients who received radiation, compared to 35 percent of those who received angioplasty alone. In the brachytherapy group, none of the 15 patients whose condition deteriorated experienced full blockage. In the group receiving angioplasty alone, four of the 29 patients with recurrence experienced complete blockage, or reocclusion.

The patients in the radiation plus angioplasty group reported no difference in quality of life compared to the angioplasty group, says Minar. “However, in the long term there is an advantage for the radiation patients because restenosis, with necessity of further interventions or surgical procedures, is reduced significantly."

The patients felt nothing specifically from the application of radiation and experienced no side effects, Minar says. A few patients experienced minor effects at the incision site that were easily treated, he says.

Despite the significance of the results, Minar and his team consider the restenosis rate in their study “high, because we could not prevent restenosis in about one-third of our patients." Also, he says, even though short-term results are promising, studies are necessary to determine long-term safety and efficacy of brachytherapy plus angioplasty.

The research is lauded in an accompanying editorial in this issue of Circulation.

“This report adds considerably to the growing body of evidence that radiation therapy is an effective anti-restenosis treatment," writes Paul S. Teirstein, M.D., director of interventional cardiology at Scripps Clinic in La Jolla, Calif., in the editorial.

Also, Teirstein writes that while angioplasty has gained wide acceptance as a first-line treatment for other blocked arteries, such as those around the heart, its role with leg vessels “remains poorly defined." In these vessels, “blood flow rates are low, resistance is high and lesions are often very long. These characteristics raise the risk of recurrence to well over 50 percent, and in some reports, over 80 percent."

Many vascular specialists recommend drug treatment and walking programs as therapy, but walking can be difficult because of leg cramping or fatigue during exertion. Thus, other surgical treatments are sometimes recommended as the best option. These, however, have more adverse effects than angioplasty does.

Still, Teirstein notes, the study's influence on treatment of leg artery blockages could be “profound," but he warns that “radiation is not a ‘cure-all,’" and some patients who receive this new therapy with high hopes will be profoundly disappointed.

“Our failures, however, do provide us with the opportunity for improvement," Teirstein writes. In the future, he says, other treatments may improve the efficacy of angioplasty.

Co-authors of the study are Boris Pokrajac, M.D.; Thomas Maca, M.D.; Ramazanali Ahmadi, M.D.; Claudia Fellner, Ph.D.; Martina Mittlbφck, Ph.D.; Wolfgang Seitz, M.D.; Roswitha Wolfram, M.D. and Richard Pφtter, M.D.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Heart Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Heart Association. "Radiation May Prevent Re-Clogging Of Leg Arteries." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 November 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/11/001128065838.htm>.
American Heart Association. (2000, November 30). Radiation May Prevent Re-Clogging Of Leg Arteries. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/11/001128065838.htm
American Heart Association. "Radiation May Prevent Re-Clogging Of Leg Arteries." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/11/001128065838.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Cases Keep Coming for Monrovia's Island Hospital

Ebola Cases Keep Coming for Monrovia's Island Hospital

AFP (Oct. 1, 2014) — A look inside Monrovia's Island Hospital, a key treatment centre in the fight against Ebola in Liberia's capital city. Duration: 00:34 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Puts Stress on Liberian Health Workers

Ebola Puts Stress on Liberian Health Workers

AP (Oct. 1, 2014) — The Ebola outbreak is putting stress on first responders in Liberia. Ambulance drivers say they are struggling with chronic shortages of safety equipment and patients who don't want to go to the hospital. (Oct. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Reassure Public Ebola Patient Won't Cause Outbreak

Doctors Reassure Public Ebola Patient Won't Cause Outbreak

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) — After the announcement that the first U.S. patient had been diagnosed with Ebola, doctors were quick to say a U.S. outbreak is highly unlikely. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
TX Hospital Confirms Patient Admitted With Ebola

TX Hospital Confirms Patient Admitted With Ebola

AP (Sep. 30, 2014) — Medical officials from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital confirm they are treating a patient with the Ebola virus, the first case found in the US. (Sept. 30 Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins