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Study puts drug-eluting stents to test in heart attack patients

ATLANTA, GA (March 12, 2006) -- Research presented today at the American College of Cardiology's inaugural Innovation in Intervention: i2 Summit 2006 in Atlanta, Ga., offers new insight into whether medicated stents can prevent late complications in patients with the most serious form of heart attack. Innovation in Intervention: i2 Summit is an annual meeting for practicing cardiovascular interventionalists sponsored by the American College of Cardiology in partnership with the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions.

Drug-eluting stents--which slowly release medication into the artery wall--prevent a build-up of scar tissue inside the stent, a complication known as in-stent restenosis. These devices have only been rigorously tested in patients with stable cardiovascular disease. The Randomized Comparison of Paclitaxel Eluting Stent Versus Conventional Stent in ST-segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction (PASSION) study has taken the next step, focusing on patients with the most serious form of heart attack, ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI).

"We wanted to know whether a paclitaxel-eluting stent could decrease restenosis and limit repeat coronary interventions in patients with acute STEMI," said Mauritis T. Dirksen, M.D., one of the investigators of the PASSION study. Dr. Dirksen and his colleagues from the Amsterdam Department of Interventional Cardiology, OLVG, The Netherlands, randomly assigned 620 patients with acute STEMI to artery-opening treatment with either a conventional bare-metal stent (the BSX Express2 or Libert) or a paclitaxel-eluting (BSX Taxus) stent. After one year, they compared the combined rates of death, repeat MI, and repeat catheter-based intervention or bypass surgery on the heart-attack-related artery. A preliminary six-month follow-up showed that the paclitaxel-eluting stent reduced the rate of repeat procedures in or near the stent to just 1 percent, as compared to 3.6 percent with
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12-Mar-2006


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