In a new study, researchers found that patients receiving drug eluting stents (DES) - stents coated with medication to prevent narrowing of the artery - as part of an angioplasty had better outcomes one year later than patients with bare metal stents.
They found that mortality in the first 30 days for people with drug eluting stents was significantly lower than for those with bare metal stents.
However, in this prospective cohort study of 6440 patients, there was an increased risk of repeat revascularization procedures or death in the DES group after 3 years.
Patients with drug eluting stents were more likely to be female, with higher rates of kidney disease, diabetes, high cholesterol and hypertension.
"Our study findings suggest that drug eluting stents, despite recent concerns surrounding drug eluting stent safety, the long-term survival (to 3 years) of patients receiving drug eluting stents remains globally favourable, and certainly not measurably worse than that of patients treated with bare metal stents," said Dr. William Ghali, co-authors from the University of Calgary and Dr. Andrew Philpott.
"However, we did observe a concerning risk trend toward accelerating adverse events in the DES group late in the follow-up period - a finding that underlines the need for ongoing surveillance of longer-term outcomes," the authors added.
The study is published in CMAJ.