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Multiple Drug-Eluting Stents May Be Safe, Effective

Good outcomes seen with full metal jacket stents in coronary artery disease

THURSDAY, Oct. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Using several overlapping full metal jacket stents to treat complex coronary artery lesions can be effective, according to a report in the Oct. 1 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

Cheol Whan Lee, M.D., of the University of Ulsan in Seoul, Korea, and colleagues examined outcomes from 347 patients with 352 long lesions who had full metal jacket drug-eluting stents. A Cypher (Cordis) or Taxus (Boston Scientific) stent of at least 60 mm was used in all patients and were overlaid to prevent gaps.

The probability of survival without cardiac death, Q-wave myocardial infarction or target lesion revascularization was 95.4 percent at one year and 91.4 percent at two years.

The mean length stented was 71.9 mm, with a 97.7 percent success rate. Angiography of 234 lesions showed a 13.7 percent restenosis rate. The mean follow-up was 16.6 months, during which time nine deaths, one nonfatal heart attack and 13 lesion revascularizations occurred. The Taxus stents were significantly linked with restenosis.

"These results suggest that the full metal jacket approach may be associated with an acceptable risk of stent thrombosis, but that it should be used carefully in patients with poor left ventricular function," the authors conclude.

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