BMJ 1995; 310 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.310.6990.1342 (Published 20 May 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;310:1342

Intracoronary ultrasound examination is being developed as an alternative to coronary angiography and may eventually replace it (British Heart Journal 1995;73:16-25). The miniaturised transducers can be used to image vessels as small as 1.00 mm or smaller; early experience suggests that ultrasound examination gives far more information about the condition of the arteries than does angiography. Since the technique is invasive it has some risks, but serious complications such as thrombosis and acute occlusion have been reported in only around 0.3% of patients investigated.

Surgeons in Sweden have been repairing inguinal and femoral hernias laparoscopically since 1992. A review in the “British Journal of Surgery” (1995;82:618-20) gives their experience with 175 patients and 200 hernias. Two patients developed bowel obstruction postoperatively, and there were seven recurrences, most of them while the surgeons were early on the learning curve. The drawbacks are the need for a general anaesthetic, the hazards of a pneumoperitoneum, and “a new panorama of iatrogenic intra-abdominal complications.” The authors join the voices calling for large scale randomised controlled trials.

When Minerva learns something new, interesting, and apparently important she usually puts references to it …

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