A new study appearing in the February 22 issue of the Journal of American Medical Association has found no significant differences in the effectiveness of the coronary stents coated with either sirolimus or paclitaxel. Drug-releasing stents are known to be more effective in easing the examination of the blood vessels in a procedure called as angiography.
Such stents also improve the prognosis or the outcome of procedures like angioplasty, when a catheter-guided balloon is used to widen a narrow coronary artery. But it was not clear as to which drug is more useful in these procedures. A team of reserachers led by Marie-Claude Morice, M.D., of the Institut Cardiovasculaire Paris Sud, Massy, France compared the efficacy of the two drugs, which were used to coat stents in patients with new coronary artery lesions. The trial called REALITY examined 1,386 patients with
angina pectoris in 90 hospitals in Europe, Latin America, and Asia between August 2003 and February 2004. The patients were randomly assigned either a sirolimus-releasing stent or paclitaxel-releasing stent. It was found that the incidence of narrowing of coronary artery was 9.6 percent in the former and 11.1 percent in the latter. "A longer follow-up may be required for the different degrees of neointimal [a new layer of cells on the inner surface] proliferation suppression to translate into significantly different rates of binary restenosis or adverse clinical events," the authors suggested.