Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Stent-Related Blood Clot May Lead To Repeat Stent Thrombosis!

Angioplasty procedure is commonly used to clear the blockages in the coronary arteries that supply blood to the heart. Thereafter, stents, which are wire mesh tubes, will be inserted into the coronary arteries to help keep the vessels from reclogging.

The Dutch Stent Thrombosis Study indicated that one in six patients who suffer a potentially deadly clot inside a coronary stent are at a higher risk of developing another clot, especially if they had a second stent implanted during emergency treatment for the first clot.

The study was conducted by Dutch researchers from St. Antonius Hospital in Nieuwegein, the Netherlands, and its findings were presented at a joint meeting of the American College of Cardiology and the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions in Chicago.

Clots that form inside a stent, which is known as stent thrombosis, can block the blood flow to the heart and can therefore cause a heart attack or even death. According to the researchers, using an additional stent during emergency treatment of a stent-related blood clot is a strong predictor of repeat stent thrombosis.

The study examined 437 patients with various types of stents who had stent thrombosis between January 2004 and February 2007 and found that 16.9 percent of the patients had multiple episodes of stent thrombosis: 61 patients had 2 episodes, 12 had 3 episodes and one had 4 episodes.

Meanwhile, the study also discovered that:
  • Patients who had a second stent implanted during emergency treatment for their first clot were 4.2 times more likely to have another episode of stent thrombosis comparing with other patients.
  • Patients who previously had a heart attack and those who developed a clot long after stent implantation (known as late stent thrombosis) were 2.6 times and 2.1 times respectively more likely to suffer a repeat episode.

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