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Heart Attack Victims Who Have Clots Vacuumed From Blocked Arteries Do Better Than Mashed Clots

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BOSTON -- Heart attack victims who first have their clots vacuumed from blocked arteries do better than patients whose clots are mashed against the sides of an artery wall using inflatable balloons and stents, researchers reported on Wednesday.

The technique was tested by a team led by Dr. Tone Svilaas of the University of Groningen in the Netherlands because the conventional balloon treatment to reopen a heart artery poses a risk that the clot will break apart and clog smaller blood vessels downstream.

The New England Journal of Medicine, which published the study, called it a "substantial advance."

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