The polymer of which the Abbott stent is made breaks down to form carbon dioxide and water, "so you don't have a permanent foreign body in the blood vessel," he said. "That gives you more flexibility in the vessel. And some metallic stents are breaking, and the fracture of the metal creates some unpleasant reactions."
Because the polymer stent disappears, "many years later you are still able to work on the vessel," Serruys added. "You don't have a metallic cage that limits expansion of the vessel."
But there is a need for long-term follow-up of the experimental stent, he said, adding, "probably five or seven years down the road. Whenever you have a long-term follow-up, you can make a second attempt with the design. It will be a long process."
Still, Serruys said he was "impressed and amazed by the fact that the first attempt was so successful."
A second trial of a new version of the stent is in the planning stage, said study co-investigator Dr. John A. Ormiston, one of New Zealand's top interventional cardiologists and president of the Asia-Pacific Society of Interventional Cardiology. It will be done at the same sites as the first study, and will also have 30 stent recipients.
"There have been important design modifications," Ormiston said of the stent in the new trial. "The scaffold will be different so that it will be stronger. We think we might get even better results than we've had so far."
The trial could begin later this year. If it succeeds, it would be the prelude to a larger international trial that could lead to approval of the new stent for medical use, Ormiston said.
Learn more about stents from the American Heart Association'/>"/>
All rights reserved