A recent study on stents have shown that for patients who have suffered a heart attack, the drug-eluting stent (paclitaxel) is safer and more effective than a bare-metal stent.
It also showed that administration of the anticoagulant medication bivalirudin enhanced safety and efficacy compared to the use of heparin + GPIIb/IIIa inhibitors.
"The data show that use of bivalirudin alone, as opposed to a combination of heparin and GP IIb/IIIa inhibitors can save lives," said Gregg W. Stone, immediate past chairman of CRF, professor of medicine at Columbia University Hospital and Director of Cardiovascular Research and Education at the Center for Interventional Vascular Therapy at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Centre.
The researchers found that after two years, the implantation of a paclitaxel-eluting stent led to 42 percent reductions in ischemic target lesion revascularization (TLR).
The study also showed 34 percent reductions target vessel revascularization (TVR).
The treatment with bivalirudin alone resulted in 36 percent reduction in major bleeding and 25 percent reduction in reinfarction.
It also reduced the cardiac mortality by 41 pct.
While previous studies of drug-eluting stents have often focused on their use in patients with stable or unstable chest pain, this is the largest study to focus on the appropriate use of anticoagulation medications and drug-eluting stents in patients experiencing the most dangerous form of heart attack (ST-elevation myocardial infarction).
The study was presented at the 21st annual Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT).