WASHINGTON (AP) -- A major study finds that the best path to a clogged heart may be through the wrist.
About a million artery-clearing angioplasties are performed in the United States each year and the usual route is to thread a tube to the heart through an artery in the groin.
Now, a major study shows going through the wrist instead can significantly lower the risk of bleeding and avoid the discomfort of lying flat for hours while the incision site seals up.
At present, just one in 100 angioplasties is done via the wrist, and the approach isn't for everyone. But a lead researcher (Doctor Sunil Rao) says both methods are equally effective at clearing heart arteries.
The report appears in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Cardiovascular Interventions.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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