A recent study published in Kardiologia Polska (Poland) compared the long-term results of drug-eluting stents and bare metal stents in heart transplant patients. Various stents are routinely used in patients post heart transplant surgery to correct blood flow abnormalities caused by coronary artery disease. Coronary artery disease is generally defined as the build-up of plaque on the interior wall of coronary arteries causing decreased or obstructed blood flow to the heart. Despite the routine use of stents in heart transplant recipients, there is very little scientific research tracking the efficacy of drug-eluting stents vs. bare metal stents in this population.
The study in question retrospectively evaluated the long-term impact of all available coronary stents used to correct transplanted heart coronary artery disease. Researchers focused on 23 patients. The goal of the study was to identify the mortality rate and the rate of restenosis in this population of patients. Researchers found that 7% patients with drug-eluting stents had restenosis vs 61% of restenosis in patients with bare metal stents. Researchers also found that there was an 18% mortality rate in patients with drug-eluting stents vs. a 31% mortality rate in patients with bare metal stents.
Contributing author: Jon Stefanuca