(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Drug eluting stents (DES) have been a topic of
debate in the cardiovascular realm. Now, new research offers promising findings,
as well as potential risks.
Researchers at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada conducted a
prospective cohort study of 6,440 patients and found patients who received a DES
(a stent coated with medication to prevent narrowing of the artery) as part of
an angioplasty had better outcomes one year later than patients who received a
bare metal stent. Mortality in the first 30 days for patients with DESs was also
significantly lower than those with bare metal stents.
However, there was an increased risk of repeat revascularization procedures or
death in the DES group after three years.
"Despite recent concerns surrounding drug eluting stent safety, the long-term
survival (to three years) of patients receiving drug eluting stents remains
globally favorable, and certainly not measurably worse than that of patients
treated with bare metal stents," study authors were quoted as saying. "However,
we did observe a concerning risk trend toward accelerating adverse events in the
DES group late in the follow-up period -- a finding that underlines the need for
ongoing surveillance of longer-term outcomes."
SOURCE: Canadian Medical Association Journal, published online Dec. 18, 2008