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No increase in deaths for heart failure patients with pulmonary artery catheter

r improvement in the value they placed on their own daily lives than the other group of patients," said ESCAPE principal investigator Stevenson, who is co-director of the cardiomyopathy/heart failure program at Brigham and Women's Hospital. "While we don't know exactly how to interpret this information yet, the ESCAPE trial emphasizes that we need to learn more about what matters most to our patients as they face disabling symptoms," she said.

"We know that patients who received a PAC felt better, but then why didn't they have fewer deaths or hospitalizations?" asked Stevenson, who presented the ESCAPE results at the American Heart Association meeting.

According to Stevenson, the answer may lie in the fact that there was a big variation in how PAC information was used to treat patients. The study did not specify which medications or other types of therapy would be used, she noted.

George Sopko, M.D., project officer for the ESCAPE trial and Medical Officer with NHLBI's Division of Heart and Vascular Diseases, said that "ideally, another study would compare specific choices of therapy."

"We also need to find out how therapies could be adjusted using non-invasive tests, such as echocardiograms, to provide similar information to PAC but without risks. In-depth analysis now underway of the ESCAPE echocardiogram data should provide clues about these next steps," said Sopko.


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Contact: NHLBI Communications Office
nhlbi_news@nhlbi.nih.gov
301-496-4236
NIH/National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
9-Nov-2004


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