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Drug-Eluting Stents Beneficial for Off-Label Use

Last Updated: May 07, 2009.

Patients implanted with drug-eluting stents for off-label indications have lower rates of repeat target vessel revascularization and death without affecting the heart attack rate compared with bare-metal stents, according to a study in the May 12 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

THURSDAY, May 7 (HealthDay News) -- Patients implanted with drug-eluting stents for off-label indications have lower rates of repeat target vessel revascularization and death without affecting the heart attack rate compared with bare-metal stents, according to a study in the May 12 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Dennis T. Ko, M.D., from the University of Toronto, and colleagues compared the long-term safety of drug-eluting stents and bare-metal stents among 6,944 patients with off-label indications (evenly matched between the two stent types) and 9,126 patients with on-label indications (evenly matched between the two stent types).

The researchers found that for off-label indications, significantly fewer patients receiving drug-eluting stents required repeat target vessel revascularization (11.6 versus 15.3 percent) or died (6.9 versus 10.5 percent) at three years. Rates of myocardial infarction were similar for the two stent types for off-label indications. For on-label indications, significantly fewer patients receiving drug-eluting stents required repeat target revascularization, although the composite rates of myocardial infarction or death were similar for the two stent types.

"For patients with off-label indications, drug-eluting stent implantation was associated with lower target vessel revascularization without an associated increase in longer-term risk of myocardial infarction or death compared with bare-metal stents," Ko and colleagues conclude.

One of the authors reported a relationship with Abbott Vascular, Medtronic, and Boston Scientific.

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