The leading type of angioplasty stent used in Australia, drug-eluting stents (DES), could be responsible for causing life-threatening clots in blood vessels, Professor Richard Harper of the Monash Medical Centre has warned.
Angioplasty is a medical procedure in which a device is used to open narrowed or blocked blood vessels of the heart.
Angioplasty in which a stent is inserted into the blood vessel is a common procedure, with over 30,000 cases performed in Australia each year.
Use of a DES reduces the likelihood that an unblocked blood vessel will close up again, but Prof Harper says emerging research has demonstrated that it also leads to a higher incidence of thrombosis.
In a new article published online today by the Medical Journal of Australia, Prof Harper debates the clinical implications of this new evidence.