Drug-coated stents were linked to a higher death rate when given to people who’ve had massive heart attacks, revealed by researchers in a study performed in Sweden.
In medicine, a stent is either an expandable wire form or perforated tube (conventionally perforated by means of laser cutting) that is inserted into a natural conduit of the body to prevent or counteract a disease-induced localized flow constriction. The main purpose of a stent is to counteract significant decreases in vessel or duct diameter.
Drug-coated heart stents may not increase the risk of blood clots as much as previously thought. Nearly 6 million people have the devices implanted into their heart during an angioplasty to prevent new blood clots from forming in the arteries.
The new research was presented by Dr. Gabriel Steg, of the Hospital Bichat-Claude Bernard in Paris, at a meeting of the European Society of Cardiology in Vienna. It was based on data from 94 hospitals in 14 countries, and followed 2,298 patients for two years after they had received either a drug-eluting or a bare metal stent.
Previously, research had suggested these devices to be responsible for an increased number of fatal blood clots. But after a four-year follow up of patients with drug-coated stents, researchers reported that there was no significant difference between patients who received drug-coated stents and those who used bare metal ones.
Patients with drug stents only have a 1 percent increased chance of dying.