The researchers found that 10.2 percent of the patients who received zotarolimus-coated stents suffered a major adverse cardiac event, compared with 8.3 percent of the patients who received sirolimus-coated stents and 14.1 percent of those with paclitaxel-coated stents.
The number of heart attacks and deaths was about the same in each group, but the rate of blood clots in the stents was significantly lower with sirolimus-eluting stents, Park's team also found.
"In this large-scale, practical randomized trial, the use of zotarolimus-eluting stents resulted in similar rates of major adverse cardiac events compared with sirolimus-eluting stents and in fewer major adverse cardiac events compared with paclitaxel-eluting stents at 12 months," the researchers concluded in their report.
However, they said a limitation of their study is the one-year follow-up period, and noted that a longer, ongoing study pitting zotarolimus-eluting stents against sirolimus-eluting stents will provide more safety information.
The trial was partially funded by Medtronic, maker of the zotarolimus-eluting stent.
Fonarow said the study results can help cardiologists arrive at treatment decisions. "These studies help to better inform interventional cardiologists in the optimal choice of drug-eluting stents for their patients being treated for coronary artery disease," Fonarow said.
For more information on stents, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
SOURCES: Gregg Fonarow, M.D., American Heart Association spokesman and professor, cardiology, University of California, Los Angeles; Sept. 27, 2010, Journal of the American College of Cardiology, online
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