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    Monday, September 04, 2006

    Drugged Stents: Looks like the drug-coated metal stents that are used to keep clogged arteries opened - and to prevent future clots - might not be doing the latter:

    Studies released Sunday at the World Cardiology Congress in Barcelona raised new concerns about the risks that may accompany the drug-coated stents, which were introduced in 2000 as an improvement on bare-metal stents.

    ....A Swiss-Dutch study tracked 8,146 patients and found that recipients of drug-coated stents were at increased risk of thrombosis, or blood clots, that can occasionally result in death.

    Two other Swiss studies, analyses of presented and published information discussed at the cardiology conference, also found that first-generation drug-coated stents had higher links to thrombosis compared to bare metal stents.

    In bare metal stents, heart cells naturally grow to cover the stent, providing a natural biological lining. But in the drug-coated versions, the drugs prevent tissue growth _ which is both their intent and their possible downfall. ... A thick growth of cells is undesirable, but a thin layer of cells lining the artery is essential. In some instances, drug-coated stents have prevented this minimal protective cell layer from growing, leaving exposed metal, which essentially can act as a clot magnet.

    The information is from a conference, so we have to take the reporter's and reserchers' word for it, but it does sound like the cheaper plain stents might be better or at least just as good as the drug-coated ones. Everyone was singing their praises not so long ago.

    posted by Sydney on 9/04/2006 02:10:00 PM 1 comments


    Another excellent blog, Gooznews (http://www.gooznews.com/), reports on the topic of drug-coated stents as follows:

    “The Food and Drug Administration will hold hearings on Dec. 7-8 on drug-eluting stents, which recent studies show are harming more people than the regular stents they replaced. It's another example where the more expensive ($2,000) technology replaced a cheaper ($800) technology and wound up causing more harm than good.”

    This reminds me of a wonderful quote by the late (and great) physician and self-proclaimed “medical heretic,” Robert Mendelsohn, MD, who once said: "Doctors don't let go of one medication until they find a more dangerous one to replace it."

    Could it be that this statement is still true today? Please say it isn't so!

    Thanks very much.

    Julia Schopick

    By Anonymous Julia Schopick, at 4:13 PM  

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