A new stent design may put patients at risk

November 17, 2011

Some stents that keep blood vessels open to treat heart disease are poorly designed to resist shortening, according to publications in the Journal of Interventional Cardiology. A case report published in the journal by Dr. Cindy Grines, of the Detroit Medical Center Cardiovascular Institute, and her colleagues describes a patient who experienced a heart attack after the recently marketed Ion stent (Boston Scientific, Natick, MA) in his artery shortened and accordioned. The articles indicate that some stents are susceptible to becoming deformed, which could result in adverse clinical consequences.

Coronary stents, which are scaffolds placed within arteries that to the heart, are lifesavers for many patients with heart disease and other conditions. By using and developing advanced designs, manufacturers have been working to continually improve the performance of stents to prevent blood vessels from becoming blocked.

Recently, though, researchers and clinicians have identified stent shortening as a newly observed deformity in cases using a particular family of stents. This shortening usually occurred when the clinician attempted to complete the procedure with the typical and balloons used after a stent is implanted. Stent shortening and deformity can cause serious complications for patients; in this case the stent clotted off and the patient had a .

In an accompanying editorial, Dr. Grines notes that the results are "disturbing" and that because clinicians, researchers, and regulators are rapidly investigating the issue, hopefully there will soon be new recommendations regarding the use of this particular design of stents.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Heart attack treatment hypothesis 'busted'

July 6, 2015

Researchers have long had reason to hope that blocking the flow of calcium into the mitochondria of heart and brain cells could be one way to prevent damage caused by heart attacks and strokes. But in a study of mice engineered ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.