Authors of a research letter in this week’s issue of THE LANCET highlight how the use of drug-eluting stents (DES) may carry a risk of subsequent thrombosis if stenting is accompanied by a withdrawal of antiplatelet therapy.
More than 1•5 million people a year have stents implanted to improve coronary artery blood flow. A recently published pooled analysis of 11 trials (see Lancet 2004; 364: 583-91) suggested that DES—increasingly used in coronary angioplasty—have benefits over bare-metal stents (BMS) by reducing the need for later revascularisation and reducing the risk of cardiac events.
Patrick W Serruys (Erasmus Medical Center, Netherlands) and colleagues report four cases of angiographically-confirmed stent thrombosis that occurred around a year after elective implantation of polymer-based paxlitaxel-eluting or sirolimus-eluting stents; all four cases resulted in myocardial infarction (heart attack). All cases arose soon after antiplatelet therapy was interrupted.
Richard Lane | alfa
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