Vascular & Endovascular

The FDA issued a safety alert Feb. 25 warning that a 10 mg, twice-daily dose of tofacitinib—sold under the brand names Xeljanz and Xeljanz XR—has been linked to an increased risk of pulmonary embolism and death in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. That dose is only approved for patients with ulcerative colitis, the agency said.

A national cardiovascular disease screening project in China revealed fewer than 3 percent of high-risk participants were taking either statins or aspirin—a finding researchers described as a “wake-up call” for middle- and low-income countries which are struggling to combat their worsening CVD risk profiles.

In the latest twist in the debate over the long-term safety of paclitaxel-coated balloons and stents, a correction published Feb. 19 in Circulation said the five-year mortality results of the Zilver PTX randomized trial were “inadvertently reversed”—and that uncoated devices were actually associated with better survival. 

A startup that sold young donors’ blood to consumers in several states with the goal of treating conditions such as dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and heart disease has apparently shut down in the wake of an FDA statement that the blood-infusion technique has no scientific merit.

Women who consumed multiple artificially sweetened beverages per day, including diet sodas and fruit drinks, were significantly more likely to die or suffer ischemic strokes over an average follow-up period of 12 years, according to an observational study published Feb. 14 in Stroke.

Physiological age based on exercise performance is a better predictor of long-term survival than chronological age, according to a study of more than 126,000 patients at the Cleveland Clinic.

Paclitaxel-coated devices were found safe for the treatment of femoropopliteal artery revascularization in a JAMA Cardiology study published Feb. 12—the latest installment in a continuing debate over whether drug-coated stents and balloons raise long-term mortality risk in patients with peripheral artery disease (PAD).

A study of health outcomes among more than 1 million men who enlisted in the Swedish Armed Forces decades ago has thrown into sharp relief the connection between poor health habits in adolescence and chronic disabilities later on in life.

A new, noninvasive technique for imaging the carotid artery can offer insight into plaque characteristics in real time, leading one researcher to suggest the modality could become as popular as ultrasound.

Home-based telerehabilitation is just as effective as traditional rehab for restoring arm function in stroke survivors, according to late-breaking science presented at this year’s American Stroke Association International Stroke Conference in Honolulu.

Andexanet alfa (Andexxa), the only FDA-approved reversal agent for factor Xa inhibitors, was successful in mitigating bleeding events associated with that class of anticoagulants, researchers reported Feb. 7 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The FDA announced Feb. 6 it has approved Cablivi for the treatment of adults with acquired thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (aTTP), a rare blood-clotting disorder.