Skip the Second Angioplasty

Drug eluting stents appear to have lower chance of revascularization

(RxWiki News) For patients at risk of having a heart attack, angioplasty to open clogged arteries and placement of a stent to prop open the artery are common. Debate still remains over the most effective type of stent, however.

Studies have been mixed in demonstrating whether bare metal stents or drug-eluting stents are more effective in patients at risk for a heart attack.

"Talk to your cardiologist about stent options."

Lakshmi Venkitachalam, the lead researcher from Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute, said his study demonstrates that drug-eluting stents consistently reduce the chance of revascularization, or another artery opening procedure. Patients that receive them also had a lower chance of dying.

During the study researchers reviewed data from a prospective percutaneous coronary intervention registry (EVENT [Evaluation of Drug Eluting Stents and Ischemic Events]) to compare clinical outcomes between drug-eluting stents and bare metal stents.

The study population included 9,266 patients who received non-emergency angioplasty and stent placement at one of 55 U.S. centers between 2004 and 2007. About 88 percent of the participants received drug-eluting stents.

Investigators assessed mortality among patients and the rate of revascularization over a year-long follow-up period, finding that patients who received bare metal stents had a 5.6 percent risk of dying as compared to a 2.5 percent risk of death among those who received drug-eluting stents.

In addition, participants who received bare metal stents had a 6.9 percent risk of having a recurrent angioplasty procedure as compared to 4.2 percent who received drug-eluting stents.

The study was recently published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

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Review Date: 
December 30, 2011