SIR: Octogenarians respond well to interventional radiology arterial procedures

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Seniors over the age of 80 can safely undergo diagnostic angiography and arterial interventions, such as vascular stenting and angioplasty, and respond as well as younger patients, according a study presented at the annual meeting of the Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR).

“This is important news for doctors and seniors, particularly those with peripheral arterial disease or blocked renal arteries,” said lead author George. G. Hartnell, MD, chief of cardiovascular and interventional radiology at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Mass.

The study included 64 octogenarians, who had arterial angioplasty and/or stenting to treat peripheral arterial disease (PAD) or renal artery stenosis. All were treated as outpatients and followed after discharge from the hospital.

Hartnell and colleagues compared the outcomes of the treatments in the octogenarians to controls. They found that the risks of interventional radiology procedures are lower than the risks of open surgery.

Previously, the risks of x-ray angiography and arterial interventions were thought to increase with age, and older seniors were even excluded from some interventional trials.

“What is an appropriate treatment at 55 is just as safe and appropriate at 85,” Hartnell said. “Older seniors can be treated as outpatients, and age did not increase the risk.”