No difference shown in mortality among patients undergoing elective angioplasty at facilities with and without on-site cardiac surgery

   Angioplasty can be safely and effectively performed at community hospitals that do not have on-site cardiac surgery units, according to research by Thomas Aversano, MD, associate professor of cardiology at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. Theirs is the first randomized controlled trial to investigate elective angioplasty in such institutions.

   Following data analysis, the no difference was shown in mortality rates among patients undergoing elective angioplasty at facilities with and without on-site cardiac surgery units. Neither were there significant differences in rates of complications such as bleeding, renal failure and stroke.

   Dr. Aversano and colleagues randomly assigned 18,867 patients to receive elective angioplasty either at a facility with on-site cardiac surgery or at one of 60 community hospitals that had undergone special preparations to perform the procedure, including meeting the requirement to demonstrate a capacity to perform at least 200 angioplasties per year. The researchers tracked patient outcomes for nine months.