Research conducted by University of Twente PhD candidate Kenneth Tandjung has shown that the new generation of drug-eluting stents, which is being used in coronary angioplasty to open narrowed coronary arteries, is safe and more effective than previous generations. He also looked into the use of an additional blood thinner after coronary angioplasty, the influence of diabetes and the results of coronary angioplasty in women. Tandjung is a cardiologist in training at the Thorax Centre of the Medisch Spectrum Twente hospital in Enschede.
Tandjung: "Nowadays we often use drug-eluting stents when performing coronary angioplasty. We're now in the third generation of this type of stent. All three generations are safe, but the third is easier to insert. It's more effective, more efficient and, eventually, cheaper."
Bloodthinners after coronary angioplasty
Tandjung tested the time required to use an additional blood thinner alongside the regular blood thinner after having undergone coronary angioplasty. In the Netherlands, the extra blood thinner is used for up to one year following treatment. Tandjung's research shows this use to be safe. In some countries, additional blood thinners are prescribed for very long periods of time because of the fear that a stent might clot after treatment. However, the longer extra blood thinners are used, the greater the risk of patients bleeding.
Patients with undiagnosed diabetes
Tandjung also discovered that patients with undiagnosed diabetes run a higher risk of having a myocardial infarctionafter a coronary angioplasty. This underlines the benefit of thoroughly screening for risk factors for cardiovascular diseases before a patient undergoes coronary angioplasty.
In his research, Tandjung reviewed the results of coronary angioplasty in women separately. The research shows that the results of the treatment in women were just as good as the results of the treatment in men, irrespective of the type of drug-eluting stent used. This had not been previously investigated with these newer generation drug-eluting stents. Women are often underrepresented in research into cardiovascular diseases. In the past, women were found to exhibit poorer results than men after undergoing coronary angioplasty.