Conference Coverage

ISCHEMIA-EXTEND: Conservative stable CAD management holds up


AT AHA 2022

Staying alive is what patients care about

“I think that interventional cardiologists who favor an invasive strategy will be excited to see this significant reduction in cardiovascular deaths, but patients don’t care what they die from. What patients care about is whether they are dead or alive,” Dr. Hochman noted.

Dr. B. Hadley Wilson, executive vice chair of the Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute of Atrium Health, Charlotte, N.C. Mitchel L. Zoler/MDedge News

Dr. B. Hadley Wilson

But B. Hadley Wilson, MD, an interventional cardiologist and vice president of the American College of Cardiology, had a somewhat different take on these findings.

“We need to consider the significant decrease in cardiovascular mortality, as we sort out the conundrum” of the increase in noncardiovascular deaths,” he said in an interview. “Hopefully, the 10-year outcomes will help answer this.”

But until more information is available, the ISCHEMIA and ISCHEMIA-EXTEND results have already helped advance the conversation that patients with stable coronary disease and their families have with clinicians about management decisions.

“I love that ISCHEMIA highlighted the importance of shared decision making and a heart team approach,” said Dr. Wilson, executive vice chair of the Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute of Atrium Health in Charlotte, N.C.

Anecdotally, ISCHEMIA reduced invasive management

After the initial ISCHEMIA results were published nearly 3 years ago, “I think use of invasive treatment for these patients has decreased, although I have seen no numbers” that document this, said Dr. Wilson. “I think most interventional cardiologists would say that ISCHEMIA has had an impact,” with fewer patients who match the trial’s enrollment criteria undergoing invasive management.

“Anecdotally, cardiologists are reviewing the ISCHEMIA data with their patients,” agreed Dr. Hochman, who added that no actual data have yet appeared to document this, nor do data yet document a change in the use of invasive management. “It takes time to measure the impact.”

To expedite the shared decision-making process for these patients, the ISCHEMIA researchers are planning to make available an app that will allow patients and physicians to enter clinical and demographic data and see a calculated estimate of their future cardiovascular disease risk and how amenable it may be to modification by invasive management, Dr. Hochman said. The app would be available on the ISCHEMIA study website in 2023.

ISCHEMIA and ISCHEMIA EXTEND received no commercial funding. Dr. Hochman and Dr. Wilson had no disclosures. Dr. Bahit has received honoraria from Behring, Boehringer Ingelheim, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Janssen, MSD, and Pfizer.


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