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Bypass Surgery, Drug-eluting Stents Possess Similar Risk and Outcome

luting patients is not due to the technology but rather patient selection," said Wilson, who is also assistant chief of cardiology at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital. "Now that we have more confidence in the long-term effectiveness of the drug-eluting stents, we are using the technology on much sicker patients."

Drug-eluting stents were better than bare-metal stents when compared to bypass surgery in terms of survival, with no statistically significant difference between the drug-eluting stents and bypass groups. Researchers reported that the death rate at three years with bypass was 6.6 percent and 9 percent after drug-eluting stent therapy.

The research suggests that if doctors use drug-eluting stents in patients who are lower risk, they might expect even more favorable results, said Muhammad S. Munir, M.D., lead author of the study and a nonclinical research fellow at the Texas Heart Institute.

"If the patient selection is made less aggressively or more optimally, it may give drug-eluting stents better results in the long run, making drug-eluting stents emerge as a treatment that would be better than all other contemporary methods," Munir said.

Wilson said it's best, "sticking to what we do well. We have reported that the risk of bypass surgery and drug-eluting stents is the same among high-risk patients. So, if we choose the patients we know we can treat well with stents, then it is reasonable to treat them by a catheter rather than by surgery. If we can't do a good job with stents, then bypass is the better choice."

Source-Eurekalert
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