Absorb, a radically new heart stent that had been developed by Abbott Laboratories Inc. has proved to be safe and effective even a year after implantation, report researchers.
Unlike the metal stents that have been in use for some time, this one is plastic and had been designed to dissolve after a period of time and so, allow the blood vessel's natural function take over. After keeping the arteries open when the plaque has been cleared, it does not remain there permanently.
Only 6.9 percent of patients experienced major problems like heart attacks in a year's time, and this is quite a low rate. The 6-month and 9-month data collected in the study revealed very encouraging results.
Dr. Patrick Serruys, a cardiologist from Erasmus University Hospital in Rotterdam, who led the study says, that the metal stents pose the risk of the arteries clogging up again, as scar tissue develops and plaque builds up. Stents that use bioresorbable materials are particularly important in repairing the pulmonary arteries and aortas of babies, as they don't have to go through another surgery for the stents to be taken out.
The device has gained approval in Europe, even though trials are yet to be done. The company plans to begin a 500-patient pivotal trial in Europe soon. It also plans to hold a 2,000-patient trial in the United States by the end of 2011 as it wants US approval in 2015, ahead of any other competing company.
Absorb is viewed as the next generation of stents that will progressively improve treatment strategies and survival rates.