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Can Next-generation Heart Stent Perform Better than the Old One?

Posted Oct 31 2008 7:16am
Stents are tiny metal wire-mesh tubes, with or without coated drugs. These devices can be inserted into blood vessels to keep them open so that blood flowing is ensure, and heart attack is prevented.

A new study found that patients using the so-called next-generation artery-opening device known as Xience drug-eluting stent had far fewer heart attacks and heart-related deaths after one year. The researchers from Columbia University in New York published their findings on April 22, 2008 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The study of 1,000 patients known as Spirit III compared results of Abbott’s Xience with Boston Scientific’s Taxus stent. It was reported that Xience proved significantly better at preventing scar tissue from re-narrowing treated blood vessels, a measure called in-segment late loss.

It also performed as well as Taxus in lowering rates of target vessel failure, a measure of re-treatment required either because the device did not work, or because of heart attacks or death. Furthermore, it also reduced major adverse cardiac events, including heart attacks and heart-related deaths by as much as 42 percent after one year.

The results of the study had no doubt convinced people that we are entering an era where we can make user of some safer and more effective drug-eluting stents.

Meanwhile, a team of researchers from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore has been working on soluble stents for 5 years and they expect such stents can be tested on heart patients in Singapore within the next 2 years.

The soluble stents can dissolve completely over time and releases drugs or proteins to prevent side effects such as blood clots. As there is no foreign body remains in the blood vessel, it can heal much faster. This could lower the risk of the vessel becoming clogged over the next few years.
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