Evidence lacking on devices used with percutaneous coronary interventions
Research Activities, February 2012, No. 378
A new research review from AHRQ's Effective Health Care Program found evidence is lacking on the benefits, harms, and safety of adjunctive devices for acute coronary syndrome (ACS) patients undergoing percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI). PCI is a common method to relieve the symptoms of patients suffering from ACS by opening the coronary arteries and allowing improved blood flow. Patients suffering from ACS who undergo PCI are susceptible to blood clots (thrombi), which can travel to other parts of the body and potentially cause a heart attack or stroke.
The review found that, while use of thrombus removal and embolic protection devices hold promise in the adjunctive treatment of patients with ACS undergoing primary PCI, larger research studies are needed to measure benefits and harms. The overall safety of adjunctive devices is also unclear due to a lack of data. Additional research may also provide insight on the impact of these therapies in subpopulations.
The report, Comparative Effectiveness of Adjunctive Devices to Remove Thrombi or Protect Against Distal Embolization in Patients with Acute Coronary Syndrome Undergoing Percutaneous Coronary Intervention of Native Vessels, summarizes evidence on different adjunctive devices when used with PCI, compares rates and types of adverse events, and reviews the impact of patient characteristics on health outcomes.
You can read and download the full review and other publications from AHRQ's Effective Health Care Program Web site.