New dissolvable stent a milestone in cardiovascular care
A dissolvable stent developed in China has been used in local heart attack patients and those at risk for major heart problems with positive results.
This new generation of stents, a medical device that opens clogged or damaged arteries to increase blood flow, is a milestone in cardiovascular disease treatment, doctors said.
Traditionally, metal stents are permanently implanted in arteries, requiring patients to take anti-clogging medication and preventing them from receiving certain medical procedures like MRIs.
This new technology dissolves the stent within a year.
“The dissolvable stent reconstructs arteries within one year and then gradually dissolves and is absorbed by the body," said Dr Sun Baogui of Shanghai Yodak Cardio-Thoracic Hospital. "By dissolving, the risk of narrowing or blocking arteries like with metal stents is reduced. Moreover, patients don't need take anti-blocking medication which is necessary after receiving a metal stent.”
So far, two patients at Yodak hospital have received dissolvable stents developed by a team led by Dr Ge Junbo of Shanghai’s Zhongshan Hospital.
About 290 million Chinese are afflicted with cardiovascular disease, the most prevalent chronic disease in the nation.