October 15th, 2013
Questions Remain About George W Bush’s Stent
The National Journal reported yesterday that “George W. Bush’s recent heart problems were far more dangerous than generally believed — potentially life-threatening, in fact.” The Journal cited “an authoritative source”:
“He was more than 95% occluded. With a blockage like that in a main artery you’re supposed to die. He was pretty lucky they caught it.”
On the Nightly News” broadcast Brian Williams said that NBC news had “confirmed” the report.
But it is impossible to know for certain precisely what Bush had. I am assuming that he was discovered to have a positive exercise test at the Cooper Clinic in Dallas. First, what are the details of the supposedly “worrisome changes” on the electrocardiogram? Was the test, in fact, markedly positive, or just positive? Positive at a low workload or at a high workload? Symptomatic during the test or not?
Second, what coronary artery had the 95% stenosis? They imply that it was his left anterior descending, but I can’t be certain. Was it his left main (in which case PCI or CABG would be appropriate even in the absence of symptoms)?
I don’t think news organizations should report “new” information like this that doesn’t really help us better understand the indication for the procedure. What do other CardioExchange members think about this issue?