While the placement of stents in newly reopened coronary arteries has been shown to reduce the need for repeat angioplasty procedures, researchers from the Duke Clinical Research Institute have found that stents have no impact on mortality over the long term.
In the largest such analysis of its kind, the Duke researchers said their findings have important economic and clinical implications for physicians who are deciding whether their heart patients should receive coronary artery bypass surgery, or less-invasive angioplasty, which includes the placement of a stent.
Stents, which were introduced in the U.S. in 1994, are tiny mesh tubes that are inserted at the site of a blockage in a coronary artery that has been opened during balloon angioplasty. The procedure seeks to prevent the artery from becoming blocked again, a process known as restenosis. These blockages, caused by atherosclerotic plaque, can starve the heart of oxygen-rich blood and lead to a heart attack.
Richard Merritt | EurekAlert!
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