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Super-Thin Drug-Free Coating 'Hides' Stent as It Unblocks Heart Arteries
Date:1/21/2008

Avoids Deadly Clotting Problems of Drug-Eluting Stents

HOLLYWOOD, Fla., Jan. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- A new stent with a nanothin surface application shows promise in opening and healing blocked heart arteries without the life-threatening dangers of drug-eluting stents, according to a study being presented at the 20th annual International Symposium on Endovascular Therapy (ISET).

The stent coating is 25,000 times thinner than a human hair. Called Polyzene(R)-F, the treatment is not a drug but a medically inert chemical compound that "hides" the stent from the body.

Doctors have long used stents to open up plaque-clogged arteries in the heart and elsewhere in the body, but the vessels often reclog due to the body's reaction to the stent as a foreign object, which creates a scarring process known as restenosis. Drug-eluting stents were devised as an answer to restenosis, but research has shown the drug can interfere with the blood vessel's healing process. This increases the risk of blood clots forming (thrombosis) and causing a heart attack. Although studies suggest thrombosis occurs in less than 1 percent of patients who receive drug-eluting stents, it is fatal in nearly half of patients who develop the problem.

"Our preliminary data show that the inside of the blood vessel with this polymer-coated stent heals almost perfectly within 30 days, whereas with a drug-eluting stent, the blood vessel healing takes many months, if it ever happens," said Corrado Tamburino, M.D., Ph.D., principal investigator of the study and professor of cardiology at Ferrarotto Hospital at the University of Catania, Italy. "Our preliminary research suggests that this polymer-coated stent is a very promising solution to restenosis and thrombosis."

Results of the first use of this coated stent in humans are being presented at ISET. In the Assessment of the Latest Non-Thrombogenic Angioplasty (ATLANTA) Stent Study at the University of Catania, 55 pati
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SOURCE International Symposium on Endovascular Therapy
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