Scientists are Working on Ways to Cut the Risk of Blood Clots with Biodegradable Stents
New stents made from Magnesium show promise in reducing thrombosis and restenosis: Magnesium may be the most powerful tool to heart health
Date: 6/7/2007 8:57:12 AM ( 11 y ) ... viewed 1939 times
Stents, which are tiny tubes used to hold open the diseased blood vessels of heart patients, can often become blocked following treatment.
A team from Germany reports success in The Lancet with a new biodegradable prototype. Experts welcomed the findings but said more work was needed.
The stents tested by an international team led by Professor Raimund Erbel of the West German Heart Centre Essen, are made from biodegradable magnesium.
Within four months of fitting they can dissolve and completely disappear, which the scientists reason will eliminate the risk of stent re-blockage. In tests, the biodegradable stents worked as well as conventional metal stents over 12 months, The Lancet reports. They were also safe - none of the 63 patients had heart attacks or developed a clot where the stent had been.
Almost half of the patients had new blockages elsewhere in their arteries which would need treatment. But this is expected in heart patients because of the poor general state of their arteries and is unrelated to the type of stent used. After all, stents help repair damaged arteries, but do not cure the disease.
Professor Peter Weissberg, medical director at the British Heart Foundation, said: "This research shows that absorbable stents can be used as a safe alternative in the future, allowing the blood vessel to repair itself before the scaffold dissolves. But before they can be used in routine practice, further research is needed to refine the stents to get the best result."
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