Features December 2011 Issue

Medicated Stents Protect Arteries Against Downstream Blockage

A Cleveland Clinic study suggests that drug-eluting stents could be altered to help deliver a variety of medications to specific locations in your arteries.

Medicated stents are widely used to help open narrowed arteries and keep them open with the help of drugs designed to prevent the blood vessels from becoming blocked again. Cells in the wall of an artery often tend to grow tissue around the stent, thus narrowing the artery in the same place as before—a process known as restenosis. To help prevent restenosis, doctors have developed drug-eluting stents that administer drugs such as rapamycin and paclitaxel to inhibit tissue growth around the stents, which are placed in arteries when plaque in those arteries threatens to block blood flow.

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