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Heart stents for stable angina show no benefit over placebo, study finds

BMJ 2017; 359 doi: (Published 02 November 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;359:j5076
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. London

Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) is not significantly better than a placebo procedure in improving exercise capacity or symptoms even in patients with severe coronary stenosis, research has found.

The ORBITA study, published in the Lancet,1 is the first double blind randomised controlled trial to directly compare stenting with placebo in patients with stable angina who are receiving high quality drug treatment.

Coronary artery stents are life saving in patients with myocardial infarction. For patients with stable coronary artery disease who get pain only on exertion, guidelines recommend antianginal medicine as first line therapy, and PCI is reserved for the many patients who remain symptomatic.

A …

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