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Absorbable Metal Stents Degrade Within Months

Last Updated: April 22, 2009.

Absorbable metal stents degrade within four months of implantation in patients with coronary artery disease but are associated with high restenosis rates, primarily due to early recoil, according to a study in the April issue of Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Cardiovascular Interventions.

WEDNESDAY, April 22 (HealthDay News) -- Absorbable metal stents degrade within four months of implantation in patients with coronary artery disease but are associated with high restenosis rates, primarily due to early recoil, according to a study in the April issue of Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Cardiovascular Interventions.

Ron Waksman, M.D., from Washington Hospital Center in the District of Columbia, and colleagues analyzed follow-up data from a clinical trial of 63 patients with coronary artery disease who had been implanted with absorbable metal stents to determine why these stents were associated with high restenosis rates in the trial.

As assessed by intravascular ultrasound, the researchers found that the stents were well expanded immediately after deployment. After four months, the major contributors to restenosis were reduced external elastic membrane volume, extra-stent neointima, and intra-stent neointima. The stents were degraded quickly and were nearly completely degraded after four months, while vessel indexes remained stable and durable for up to 28 months. There were no early or late adverse findings to the vessel wall, according to the study.

"Intravascular ultrasound imaging supports the safety profile of absorbable metal stents with degradation at four months and maintains durability of the results without any early or late adverse findings," Waksman and colleagues conclude. "Slower degradation is warranted to provide sufficient radial force to improve long-term patency rates of the absorbable metal stents."

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