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Alternative Names Return to topDrug-eluting stents
Definition Return to top
A stent is a tiny tube placed into an artery, blood vessel, or other duct (such as one that carries urine) to hold the structure open.
Description Return to top
When a stent is placed into the body, the procedure is called stenting. There are different kinds of stents. Most are made of a metal or plastic mesh-like material. However, stent grafts are made of fabric. They are used in larger arteries.
Other types of stents are listed below.
An intraluminal coronary artery stent is a small, self-expanding, metal mesh tube that is placed inside a coronary artery after balloon angioplasty to prevent the artery from re-closing.
A drug-eluting stent is coated with a medicine that helps further prevent the arteries from re-closing. Like other coronary stents, it is left permanently in the artery.
Why the Procedure is Performed Return to top
Most of the time, stents are used to treat conditions that result when arteries become narrow or blocked. The devices are also used to unblock and keep open other tube-shaped structures in the body, including the ureters (the tubes that drain urine from the kidneys to the bladder) and bronchi (the small windpipes in the lungs).
Stents are commonly used to treat coronary heart disease (CHD). If you have coronary artery disease that does not cause symptoms, you can be treated with either medicine or angioplasty with stenting. Recent studies show that medicine and angioplasty with stenting have equal benefits. Angioplasty with stenting does not help you live longer, but it can reduce angina or other symptoms of coronary artery disease.
Angioplasty with stenting, however, can be a life-saving procedure if you are having a heart attack
Other reasons to use stents include:
Risks Return to top
Risks of stents and stent placement may include:
References Return to top
Boden WE, O'rourke RA, Teo KK, et al. Optimal Medical Therapy with or without PCI for Stable Coronary Disease. N Engl J Med. 2007 Mar 26; [Epub ahead of print].
Winslow RD, Sharma SK, Kim MC. Restenosis and drug-eluting stents. Mt Sinai J Med. 2005 Mar;72(2):81-9.
Moreno R, Fernandez C, Hernandez R, Alfonso F, Angiolillo DJ, Sabate M, et.al. Drug-eluting stent thrombosis: results from a pooled analysis including 10 randomized studies. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2005 Mar 15;45(6):954-9.Update Date: 8/8/2008 Updated by: Charlotte Grayson, MD, Private Practice specializing in Internal Medicine, Smyrna, GA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.