Public Release: 

Drug-eluting stent controversy explored in the American Heart Hospital Journal

Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Shelton, Conn. - August 08, 2007 - The Summer 2007 issue of The American Heart Hospital Journal explores one of the pivotal issues in cardiology today, the drug-eluting stent (DES). Through commentaries from ten leading national and international specialists, the issue presents a comprehensive discussion on the explosive growth and the potential risks of DESs.

The issue reports on the initial enthusiasm for drug-eluting stents, the great advances made possible by their use, and explores the significance of the benefits and disadvantages revealed through their high-volume adoption.

Dr. Ulrich Sigwart of University Hospital in Geneva, Switzerland, author of one of the studies, examines the sobering current appraisal of DES use, in contrast to the triumphs of their early success. "Subacute stent thrombosis due to incomplete intimal coverage, the formation of blood clots that can occur when the inner layers of blood vessels are not fully treated, remains the Achilles' heel of DES use," says Dr. Sigwart. "The polymer matrix used for the delivery of drugs, which clearly induces inflammatory responses, may, in part, be responsible for very late thrombosis."

Dr. Renu Virmani and colleagues at the CVPath Institute of Gaithersburg, Maryland base the judgments in their article on the evidence obtained through pathologic studies of patients dying after stent implantation. "These data indicate that DESs cause both substantial impairment in arterial healing characterized by lack of complete re-endothlialization (the re-healing of the inner surfaces of vessels after stenting) and persistence of fibrin, a protein that indicates blood clotting, when compared with bare metal stents. This delayed healing is the primary substrate underlying all cases of late DES thrombosis at autopsy."

In contrast, Drs. Williams and Abbott, of Brown Medical School and affiliated with Rhode Island Hospital, note, "DESs are a revolutionary advancement in interventional cardiology and are here to stay. Recognizing that they are different from bare metal stents, it is prudent to exercise caution with these devices and avoid using them in patients in whom dual antiplatelet therapy, a common practice used to reduce blood clotting, is unlikely or impossible."

Dr. Peter Fitzgerald of Stanford University Medical Center, who writes with his colleagues, Drs. Shimohama and Honda of the Center for Cardiovascular Technology, offers his view of the future of DESs. "While first generation DESs place great emphasis on efficacy, long-term safety issues have arisen, making DESs stand in an exquisite balance among occasionally conflicting effects. Careful reexamination of research findings, as well as redefinition of safe and effective outcomes, will lead future stent technology in the optimal direction."

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These articles are published in the Summer 2007 issue of The American Heart Hospital Journal. Media wishing to receive PDFs of any of these articles may contact medicalnews@bos.blackwellpublishing.net.

About The American Heart Hospital Journal

The American Heart Hospital Journal (AHHJ), a controlled circulation journal, is in its fifth year of publication. It is indexed on the National Library of Medicine's Index Medicus and circulates to over 30,000 cardiologists, cardiovascular surgeons and selected internists. Its mission is to serve as a forum for improving health care through the heart hospital concept. For subscription requests, contact customerservice@blackwellpublishing.com

About Le Jacq

Le Jacq, located in Shelton, Connecticut, is an independent imprint of Wiley-Blackwell. A leader in medical publishing with over 40 years of experience in cardiovascular-related journals and books, Le Jacq publishes The American Heart Hospital Journal, The American Journal of Geriatric Cardiology, Congestive Heart Failure, Journal of the CardioMetabolic Syndrome, The Journal of Clinical Hypertension, Preventive Cardiology, Progress in Cardiovascular Nursing, and Cardiovascular Trials Review, Tenth Edition. For more information, visit www.lejacq.com.

About Wiley-Blackwell

Wiley-Blackwell was formed in February 2007 as a result of the merger between Blackwell Publishing Ltd. and John Wiley & Sons, Inc.'s Scientific, Technical, and Medical business. Together, the companies have created a global publishing business with deep strength in every major academic and professional field. Wiley-Blackwell publishes approximately 1,250 scholarly peer-reviewed journals and an extensive collection of books with global appeal. For more information on Wiley-Blackwell, please visit www.blackwellpublishing.com or http://interscience.wiley.com.

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