November 14, 1996

Media Contacts: Sarah Goodwin, 404/727-3366 - sgoodwi@emory.edu
Kathi Ovnic, 404/727-9371 - covnic@emory.edu

More than one quarter to one third of occluded coronary arteries opened by a tiny balloon-tipped catheter during angioplasty or coronary stenting are at risk for restenosis - a re-narrowing due to a healing response to the angioplasty. Recent evidence suggests restenosis is similar to other forms of proliferative healing following tissue injury.

Localized radiation therapy has been used to suppress wound healing in other parts of the body and is now being applied to the vascular system. Initial animal research has shown promising results in a pig coronary model of restenosis.

A team of Emory University researchers led by interventional cardiologist Spencer B. King III is the first to receive Food and Drug Administration approval to test whether beta radiation applied to the site of clogged coronary arteries dilated by balloon angioplasty helps prevent restenosis in human subjects. The group will present data at this month's American Heart Association meeting on the 33 patients who underwent radiation after angioplasty in the feasibility trial.

About 400,000 coronary angioplasties are performed domestically each year and an estimated 400,000 are performed annually outside the United States; hence, about 200,000 persons each year are likely to experience restenosis and are at risk for further cardiac complications. In the United States alone, repeat angioplasties cost in the billions of dollars.

Coronary Endovascula Beta Radiation for Restenosis using a Novel Catheter System: Initial Clinical Feasibility Study -- Spencer B. King III, M.D., and others, Nov. 13, 9 a.m.-noon (Poster Board p218)

Intracoronary Radiation Decreases New Additional Intimal Hyperplasia in a Repeat Balloon Angioplasty Swine Model of Restenosis -- Spencer B. King III, M.D., and others, Nov. 11, 2:30 p.m., Ballroom B2-2 (Abstract No. 1217)

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