Impact Of Drug-Eluting Stents On Smaller Heart Vessels Could Add To Risk

Impact Of Drug-Eluting Stents On Smaller Heart Vessels Could Add To Risk

A Swiss study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that “collateral function” — the functioning of small collateral heart vessels — is more severely impaired in patients implanted with drug-eluting stents than in those implanted with bare-metal stents six months after implantation.”Considering the protective nature of collateral vessels, this could lead to more serious cardiac events” if sudden heart artery blockage occurs, according to a research team led by Christian Seiler at University Hospital in Bern, Switzerland.The findings indicate that patients treated with drug-eluting stents may develop larger blood clots (thromboses) and experience more severe heart attacks as a result than those treated with bare-metal stents and that drug-eluting stent patients may therefore be at higher risk of death.The correlation between a diminished functioning of those smaller vessels and more severe blood clots presents another twist in the unfolding saga of drug-eluting stents. Several recent studies have indicated that the devices carry a higher risk of life-threatening clots than bare-metal devices, which led the FDA to convene a panel meeting on their safety.