FRIDAY, July 23, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- Stenting is an effective way to restore and maintain blood flow to the heart even in small coronary arteries.
That analysis appears in the August issue of Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions: Journal of the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions.
The research could put to rest a controversy over whether stents -- tiny metal scaffolds that prop open once-clogged coronary arteries -- should be used in arteries less than 3 millimeters in diameter.
The analysis encompassed nine clinical studies and nearly 2,600 patients. "Only by pooling the results of a handful of small studies in a meta-analysis can we finally say with confidence that stents reduce restinosis (renarrowing of the artery) in small vessels," said study author Dr. Paul T. Vaitkus, of the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Vaitkus found that patients treated with stenting were only 62 percent as likely to experience restenosis, when compared to those people treated with balloon angioplasty alone.
The National Institutes of Health has more about angioplasty.