Benefits of Drug-Eluting Stents May Outweigh Risks

Reduced target lesion revascularization seen as more important than slightly increased risk of myocardial infarction

MONDAY, July 23 (HealthDay News) -- The benefit of drug-eluting stents, a reduction in the risk of clinically necessary target lesion revascularization, appears to outweigh the slightly increased risk of later stent thrombosis and myocardial infarction, according to a report published in the July 31 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Lisette Okkels Jensen, M.D., Ph.D., of Odense University Hospital in Odense, Denmark, and colleagues analyzed 2002-2005 data from the Western Denmark Heart Registry on 12,395 patients, including 3,548 who received drug-eluting stents and 8,847 who received bare metal stents.

During the 12 to 15 months after implantation, the researchers found that patients who received drug-eluting stents were more likely than those who received bare metal stents to experience late definite stent thrombosis (hazard ratio, 10.93) or myocardial infarction (HR, 4.0).

"The overall rates of stent thrombosis, myocardial infarction, and death were similar among the patients treated with the two stent types," the authors write. "Furthermore, use of drug-eluting stents reduced the risk of clinically necessary target lesion revascularization by 43 percent. The minor risk of stent thrombosis and myocardial infarction within 15 months after implantation of drug-eluting stents seems unlikely to outweigh the benefit of these stents."

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