Drug-Coated Stents Better at Keeping Arteries Open

He was strict in drawing a conclusion from the trial: "What this study shows is that this paclitaxel-eluting stent is safe to use in patients with an evolving heart attack, and that it reduced the incidence of re-stenosis by about 40 percent."

That conclusion cannot be extended to other drug-coated stents because "drug-eluting stents are different from each other," Stone said. Another controlled trial would be needed to determine whether the differences are significant in ultimate results, he noted.

More information

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has more on stents.

SOURCES: Stefan K. James, M.D., Ph.D., professor, cardiology, Uppsala University, Sweden; Gregg W. Stone, M.D., professor, medicine, Columbia University Medical Center, New York City; May 7, 2009, New England Journal of Medicine

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