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Lenox Hill Hospital Doctors Participating in New Study to Help Patients Manage Refractory Angina Pain

October 1, 2003

Lenox Hill Enrolling Patients in Clinical Trial to Evaluate Neurostimulation Device For Patients Whose Pain Does Not Respond to Standard Treatments

Lenox Hill Hospital is the first hospital in the New York metropolitan area to implant a neurostimulation device in a patient to manage refractory angina pain, recurrent chest pain that can severely limit daily activities. The implanted, pacemaker-sized device uses mild electrical stimulation to interfere with pain impulses before they reach the brain.

The procedure is part of an FDA approved research clinical study evaluating the safety and efficacy of neurostimulation to treat severe, chronic angina pain that does not respond to traditional medications or standard surgical procedures.

"This clinical study addresses a frustrating medical problem in patients whose quality of life is restricted by almost constant pain," said study investigator Jeffrey Moses, MD, Chief of Interventional Cardiology at Lenox Hill Hospital who preformed the procedure with Fred Noban, MD and Sanjay Bakhshi, MD.

In European studies, when chronic angina patients whose pain had been unresponsive to other treatments were treated with neurostimulation, they experienced pain relief with less medication and fewer visits to the emergency room, according to study results published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology and the European Heart Journal. In the United States, the neurostimulation system is already approved as treatment for other pain syndromes, including chronic back and/or leg pain.

This study is known as STARTSTIM (Stimulation Therapy for Angina Refractory To Standard Treatments, Interventions and Medications). It is open to adults over 18 years of age who can walk on a treadmill and do not currently have an implanted pacemaker or defibrillator. Anyone meeting this criteria and interested in learning more about this study may contact Sherif Ibrahim at (212) 452-6654 or visit the website www.startstim.com.

Angina, which affects an estimated 6.4 million Americans, usually results from coronary artery disease. To treat angina, physicians have typically prescribed medication (such as nitroglycerine) or performed procedures such as angioplasty, stenting or bypass surgery. For as many as 40,000 U.S. patients, however, the pain persists or increases in frequency and intensity even after receiving all of these treatments. Angina-related chest pain, which results from lack of oxygen to the heart muscle, often requires emergency attention.

Members of the press seeking information about Lenox Hill Hospital should call the Public Relations Department at (212) 434-2400.