A new stent coated with a special polymer holds promise for overcoming thrombosis and restenosis, the major problems associated with drug-eluting stents, according to Italian researchers at the 2008 International Symposium of Endovascular Therapy meeting.
Corrado Tamburino, MD, a professor of cardiology at the University of Catania, Italy, and colleagues found no thrombosis, deaths, or myocardial infarctions at six months in 55 patients outfitted with the new stents.
Close examination of the arteries showed re-growth of fatty deposits only in the smallest vessels, none in the large vessels, Tamburino said.
One-third of the stent recipients were diabetic and therefore, more vulnerable to problems. All participants received 30 days of Plavix. Current U.S. recommendations are for six months to a year of Plavix after stent implantation.
The polymer used to coat the stent was developed by CeloNova Biosciences, a Newnan, Ga.-based biotechnology company. The polymer coating is designed to reduce inflammation and immune responses to the stent, according to Tamburino.
It’s much too early to start drawing definitive conclusions about the new stents, according Ramon Quesada, MD, director of interventional cardiology at the Baptist Cardiac and Vascular Institute of Miami.
“This is an interesting observation, and we have to see the results of more trials,” Quesada said.
Future trials would have to match results of angioplasty using existing drug-coated stents with the new polymer-coated stents, Tamburino said. Such trials would take years to produce definitive information, he said.