Simonton, a cardiologist associated with the Carolinas Heart Institute at Carolinas Medical Center, summarized his conclusions at the annual TCT (Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics) meeting in Washington DC. TCT is recognized as the world's largest scientific symposium for healthcare professionals dedicated to interventional and vascular therapy.
Coronary care specialists have known for several years that so called "drug-eluting stents" outperform bare-metal stents in preventing the recurrence of blockage in coronary arteries repaired via angioplasty.
However, only two manufacturers produce drug-eluting stents, which are utilized in more than 750,000 coronary procedures annually, and study results have varied on whether one brand was more effective than the other.
The STENT registry, which now includes approximately 14, 000 patients, is the first of its kind to gather data from multiple sites, including eight medical centers located throughout the Southeast. The registry also includes one of the largest patient follow-up efforts based on a profile of the general populace. Earlier clinical trials focused on patient populations carefully screened to exclude high risk cases.
Since drug-eluting stents were first approved by the FDA in May 2003, follow up comparisons have varied for Taxus, manufactured by Boston Scientific, and Cypher, manufactured by Cordis Corp., a subdivision of Johnson & Johnson.
The new study, which involves non-proprietary research, shows outcomes the same for TVR (target vessel re-vascularization) and MACE (major adverse cardiac events, such as myocardial infarction, stroke or death, following interventional treatment).