Device Approved to Aid

Flow in Neck Arteries

The Food and Drug Administration yesterday approved a device designed to prevent strokes by clearing blocked carotid arteries, the main blood vessels leading to the brain.

While similar metal mesh tubes, known as stents, are used in other arteries, it was the FDA's first approval of such a device for neck arteries.

The newly approved stent-and-filter combination, made by Indianapolis-based Guidant Corp., will aid patients with past stroke symptoms and at least 80 percent blockage of a carotid artery. The FDA approved two versions of the device; one can be inserted by a single doctor, the other by a pair of medical workers.

According to the American Heart Association, 700,000 Americans suffer a stroke each year. Stroke is the nation's number three killer and is a cause of disability.

Detection Type Linked

To Cancer Recurrence

Women whose breast cancer is detected by mammography have a lower risk of a recurrence after treatment compared with those who discover a tumor by other means, according to a Finnish study.

Women with cancerous tumors detected outside of the mammography screening process had a 90 percent higher risk of the disease recurring elsewhere in their bodies within a decade compared with women whose tumors were detected by mammography, said Heikki Joensuu of Helsinki University Central Hospital, author of the study in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The study included 2,842 women identified from the Finnish Cancer Registry as having breast cancer in 1991 or 1992 who were followed for an average of nearly 10 years.

-- From News Services