Study supports safety of biodegradable stents | Researchers track post-PCI readmission causes | Researchers find no allergy risks from stents
April 24, 2012
SCAI SmartBrief
News for Invasive/Interventional Cardiologists

Top Stories
Study supports safety of biodegradable stents
Japanese researchers report cornstarch-based, biodegradable stents are safe for use in coronary arteries. The 10-year study found the stent dissolves cleanly into the arterial wall without leaving residue, and complication rates are similar to those of metal stents. U.S. News & World Report/HealthDay News (4/16)
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Researchers track post-PCI readmission causes
Researchers looking for ways to help hospitals improve performance found significant variations in 30-day post-PCI readmission rates, according to an analysis of more than 36,000 cases. Readmission rates varied from 9.5% to 17.9%. The most common reasons for readmission included ischemic heart disease and chest and respiratory complaints. Researchers were unable to link most readmissions to differences in care, and they cautioned hospitals against developing quality measures before fully understanding what drives readmissions. (4/20)
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Policy & Professional News
Trustees: Medicare unsustainable without reform
Medicare will remain solvent for the next 12 years, according to the trustees' annual report, but experts say their prediction is based on some unlikely scenarios, including a scheduled reduction in physician reimbursements. The report said the long-term outlook suggests the program in its current form is unsustainable. Reuters (4/23)
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Cheney's treatment journey parallels cardiology developments
After five heart attacks, former Vice President Dick Cheney has experienced almost every treatment developed over the years to help treat his atherosclerosis. At 71, Cheney has had quadruple bypass surgery, angioplasty and stent placement, and he is now recovering from a heart transplant. The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (4/23)
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Cost of out-of-network care remains high
A new database informs consumers about the costs they face if they go outside their insurer's network for health care, and the 2010 health care law limits some out-of-network charges. However, copayments and deductibles are still rising faster for out-of-network care than for services from network providers, according to a Mercer report. For example, median co-insurance rates for an in-network hospital visit held steady at 20% from 2008 to 2011, while out-of-pocket costs increased from 35% to 40% for out-of-network hospital stays. The Washington Post (tiered subscription model)/Kaiser Health News (4/16)
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Medical Developments
Surgeons use stent graft in heart cancer treatment
Physicians at the Cleveland Clinic have for the first time used a stent graft as part of the treatment for leiomyosarcoma, a rare type of cancer affecting the heart. Patient Jovetta Means had been treated with radiation to shrink the tumor, but the therapy damaged her aorta. Doctors used the stent graft to support the tissue. (4/18)
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Study tracks TAVR outcomes in cases of severe LV dysfunction
Transcatheter aortic valve replacement provides short- and long-term benefits for patients with severe left ventricular dysfunction, researchers report. The observational study tracked patients considered high-risk or inoperable, and researchers said mortality risk from the procedure was acceptable. All-cause mortality among severe cases was 29%, and cardiovascular death was 10%. (4/18)
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SCAI 2012 Scientific Sessions. We have an app for that.
Attending SCAI 2012 Scientific Sessions and want to view sessions you may have missed on your iPhone or iPad? We have an app for that. Want to create a personalized itinerary based on your availability and interests? We have an app for that and more. The iPhone app is now available for download; the mobile site for other smartphones will also be available in coming days. The SCAI 2012 app also allows attendees to thumb through abstracts, pull up faculty bios and photos, locate session rooms on the fly, get real-time updates to the schedule, and receive critical announcements. SCAI 2012 premium registrants will also be able to view SCAI 2012 On Demand content on their iPhones. Have an iPhone or iPad? Download the app now!
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SCAI 2012 late-breaking clinical trials announced
Amid six tracks of in-depth "best of the best" education in invasive/interventional cardiology, hundreds of abstracts, and an amazing lineup of keynotes, SCAI 2012 will feature late-breaking clinical trials. Check them out.
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There are three cures for ennui: sleep, drink and travel."
-- D.H. Lawrence,
British novelist
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The news summaries appearing in SCAI SmartBrief are based on original information from news organizations and are produced by SmartBrief, Inc., an independent e-mail newsletter publisher. SCAI is not responsible for the content of sites external to SCAI, nor do reports in SCAI SmartBrief constitute the official opinion of SCAI.
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