December 6 2004 - NEW CAROTID TREATMENT AVAILABLE AT TRINITY MOTHER FRANCES HEART INSTITUTE

Press Release - December 6, 2004
NEW CAROTID TREATMENT AVAILABLE AT TRINITY MOTHER FRANCES HEART INSTITUTE

For Immediate Release

December 6, 2004

Contact:
John Moore
Media Relations
(903) 531-4542

NEW CAROTID PROCEDURE REDUCES RISK OF STROKE


TYLER, TX - Cardiologists with Tyler Cardiovascular Consultants, P.A. (CVC) are offering a new, less-invasive treatment option at the Trinity Mother Frances Heart Institute as part of a study to prevent the risk of stroke in patients with carotid artery disease. The therapy, called carotid artery stenting, was demonstrated to have a lower rate of death, myocardial infarction and stroke in high-risk patients than traditional surgery, known as a carotid endarterectomy.

Carotid artery stenting is a minimally invasive alternative to traditional surgery in which a physician uses a combination of balloon angioplasty and a stent to unblock and re-open the carotid artery, a major supplier of blood to the brain. During the stent procedure, an embolic protection system is used to collect plaque that could become dislodged and potentially cause a stroke.

The RX ACCULINK carotid stent system and RX ACCUNET embolic protection system by Guidant is being tested across the United States. The device is the only FDA approved stent with embolic distal protection to prevent a clot from dislodging and traveling to the brain. The Trinity Mother Frances Heart Institute is one of only four locations in Texas to offer the device to patients.

Tad Tolleson, MD, FACC, a CVC cardiologist and Director of Peripheral Vascular Intervention at the Trinity Mother Frances Heart Institute, is the principal investigator of the study and leading the local investigation.

"Carotid stenting has been studied for several years, but only recently have we had the availability of distal embolic protection devices which have made this a much safer procedure," said Dr. Tolleson. "Carotid artery stenting has now been demonstrated in clinical studies to been an effective alternative to traditional surgery. The minimally invasive nature of the procedure and use of local rather than general anesthesia provide an attractive treatment option to a large group of high-risk patients. These are patients who are ineligible for current surgical options or are at high risk for surgical or anesthesia-related complications."

Stroke is the third most-common cause of death in the United States and the number one cause of disability in adults. One out of four patients with clogged carotid arteries suffer an ischemic stroke, the most common type. An ischemic stroke can occur when small particles of atherosclerotic plaque become dislodged from the diseased artery wall. This embolic material can travel through the bloodstream and block vessels in the brain.

"Carotid endarterectomy is currently the standard surgical method for restoring blood flow within the carotid arteries, with approximately 170,000 procedures performed in the United States each year," said Michael J. Vintges, vice president, cardiac services, Trinity Mother Frances Health System. "It requires an incision in the patient's neck and artery to remove plaque and debris from inside the vessel wall. The Trinity Mother Frances Heart Institute is proud to work with Dr. Tolleson and CVC to provide our patients with access to ACCULINK and ACCUNET, which reduces pain, risk and time spent in the hospital."

"We are encouraged by the positive clinical data for carotid stenting when used for this patient group," said Dr. Tolleson. "As we look forward, we hope additional clinical studies demonstrate that this minimally invasive therapy can be safely used in an increasing number of patients."

For more information on services available through the Trinity Mother Frances Heart Institute, visit www.tmfhs.org.

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