Monthly Archives: January 2012

Stent Pioneer Gary Roubin Leaving Lenox Hill

Gary S. Roubin, MD, PhD, FSCAI

Gary S. Roubin, MD,

Interventional cardiology pioneer, Dr. Gary Roubin, is leaving Lenox Hill Heart & Vascular Institute in New York, where he has served as chair of Interventional Cardiac & Vascular Services for almost a decade.

Dr. Roubin confirmed his departure to Angioplasty.Org and stated that he is “moving on to bigger and more challenging projects.” Dr. Roubin’s departure was first reported yesterday by Shelley Wood of

Roubin told me that he feels he has “much more to contribute to the field of cardiovascular medicine”, although looking through his list of accomplishments, one might think that difficult to top because so many of those accomplishments start with the word “First“, as in: First abstract on balloon angioplasty in multivessel disease (with Andreas Gruentzig, inventor of the procedure); First balloon expandable coronary stent; First carotid bifurcation stent; First intracranial stent. Continue reading


Filed under History, Innovators, Video

FAME II is Not the “Anti-COURAGE”: Stents and Angioplasty in the Spotlight

Cath LabThere’s been much talk this week in the interventional cardiology community (and among stock market analysts) about stents and angioplasty, given the news that the FAME II clinical trial ended enrollment early, due to ethical concerns that were generated by the fact that patients randomized to Optimal Medical Therapy (OMT) alone were returning to the hospital in significant numbers for “urgent revascularization”, i.e. stenting!

So is this, as several analysts have suggested, a reversal of the COURAGE trial results? Not according to the principal investigators of both the FAME II trial AND the COURAGE trial, whom I have spoken with in the past 48 hours. Continue reading


Filed under Clinical Trials / Studies, COURAGE, FAME I / FAME II, FFR

Does FAME II Trump COURAGE? FFR: Key to Stents and Angioplasty

Fame II QuestionsPositive news today from St. Jude Medical (NYSE:STJ) about FFR as a clinical decision-making tool. The company announced that it is stopping enrollment in its FAME II trial after only 2/3 of the planned patients were included. Why? Because the interim data so clearly favor the use of Fractional Flow Reserve (FFR) to guide stenting (PCI) in stable angina patients that the independent Data Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) for the trial has concluded that it would be unethical to continue to randomize patients to optimal medical therapy (OMT) alone. Turns out that patients receiving OMT only experienced a highly statistically significant increased risk of hospital readmission and urgent revascularization.

Wait a minute! Did they say that using optimal medical therapy alone was unethical for the treatment of stable angina patients? That’s pretty big news! Continue reading

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Filed under COURAGE, FAME I / FAME II, FFR, Stent

AAA Stent Graft Revisited

Kevin Morgan, aka FitOldDogLast year at this time, I wrote about a patient who had been posting in our Patient Forum. He had received a stent graft to treat an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) and wanted to share his story, and also wanted to find other AAA patients. This type of aneurysm was previously only treatable via open surgery. But with advances in device technology, patients were able to receive a AAA stent graft percutaneously, through a catheter in the femoral artery (groin/leg) much like standard angioplasty. Continue reading

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Filed under Patient Empowerment, Patient Experience, Patients, Social Networking