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Medical News & Perspectives
May 25, 2011

Researchers Praise Drug-Eluting Stents but Appropriate Use Is Still Debated

JAMA. 2011;305(20):2052-2053. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.684

New Orleans— New studies are finding drug-eluting stents beneficial in treating patients with cardiovascular disease, according to reports presented here at the Scientific Session of the American College of Cardiology in April. But amid the enthusiasm, critics say the devices are too often being used inappropriately.

Drug-eluting stents are now the device preferred by most interventional cardiologists for typical percutaneous coronary interventions (PCIs) and are used in approximately 75% to 80% of all angioplasty procedure cases. And increasingly, researchers studying these stents for an expanded range of indications are reporting more positive findings. Attendees of late-breaking clinical trial sessions heard optimistic news regarding the use of drug-eluting stents for the treatment of unprotected left main coronary artery stenosis and stenosis in saphenous vein grafts. They also heard from researchers about 2 new drug-eluting stents that appear poised for an approval attempt before the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).