MONDAY, Dec. 27, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- Drug-eluting stents greatly reduce the risk that arteries will renarrow in patients with in-stent restinosis -- artery narrowing caused by scar tissue -- according to a German study in the January issue of Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions.
The study noted that plaque-clogged arteries that are opened with a regular metal stent have a 1-in-3 chance of becoming narrowed again with scar tissue (restinosis). If this problem is treated using a metal stent or balloon angioplasty, the artery will narrow again in half the patients.
This study of 77 patients found a 13 percent rate of repeat in-stent restinosis among patients treated with a drug-eluting stent that slowly releases the drug sirolimus, which prevents formation of scar tissue. The in-stent restinosis repeat rate was 61 percent for patients treated with balloon angioplasty.
At the nine-month follow up, 14 percent of the patients treated with the sirolimus-eluting stent required yet another procedure to open the artery, compared with 32 percent of balloon angioplasty patients.
"Restinosis was dramatically lowered by drug-eluting stents as opposed to balloon angioplasty alone, and that resulted in a dramatic lowering in the major adverse cardiac event rate," researcher Dr. Rainer Hoffman from the University of Aachen said in a prepared statement.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has more about stents.