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Study Finds Both Coated Stents Perform the Same
Date:1/29/2008

Incidence of major adverse events was also lower than researchers anticipated

TUESDAY, Jan. 29 (HealthDay News) -- In a large study comparing the real-life effectiveness of two different drug-coated stents, Danish researchers found no overall difference between the two stents and a lower rate of problems than had been anticipated.

The scientists looked at more than 2,000 people who had these flexible tubes implanted to help keep arteries open, and the rate of major adverse events such as death, heart attack or blockage of the treated artery was about the same for stents coated with the drug paclitaxel, marketed by Boston Scientific, and those coated with sirolimus, marketed by Cordis. The report, funded by both stent makers, is published in the Jan. 30 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The study included people who underwent the artery-opening procedure called angioplasty, followed by stent implants, for a variety of conditions. It mostly involved patients who had had heart attacks, but it included some who had the disabling heart pain called angina. Previous, smaller studies have included a much narrower patient base.

"This is the first large-scale study to address the problem this way," said Dr. Kirk Garratt, clinical director of interventional cardiovascular research at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. "They excluded hardly anyone. And in a clinical practice that treats a broad spectrum of patients, it doesn't seem to matter much whether patients get the sirolimus-eluting stent or the paclitaxel-eluting stent."

The study did give a slight, but not statistically significant, edge to the sirolimus stent. The incidence of major adverse events was 9.3 percent for those getting that stent, compared to 11.2 percent for those getting the paclitaxel stent. Stent thrombosis rates were 2.5 percent for the sirolimus stent and 2.9 percent for the paclitaxel stent.

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