European clinical guidelines on how to treat a major form of heart disease are under review following a BBC Newsnight investigation.
Europe’s professional body for heart surgeons has withdrawn support for the guidelines, saying it was “a matter of serious concern” that some patients may have had the wrong advice.
Guidelines recommended both stents and heart surgery for low-risk patients.
But trial data leaked to Newsnight raises doubts about this conclusion.
Thousands of people in the UK and hundreds of thousands worldwide will be treated for left main coronary artery disease each year. This is a narrowing of one of the main arteries in the heart.
The guidelines on how to treat it were largely based on a three-year trial to compare whether heart surgery or stents – a