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franklin county times

Rush introduces drug-eluting stents locally

By By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
May 22, 2003
Rush Foundation Hospital is the first Meridian hospital to use an innovative new stent in heart surgery.
The Cypher Sirolimus-eluting Stent made by the Cordis Corp., a Johnson &Johnson Co., is the first stent of its type to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
Dr. Charles Davenport, a cardiologist, said Rush has used the new stents for about two weeks.
The tiny, stainless steel stent is coated with the drug sirolimus, which is absorbed in the blood vessel and reduces the occurrence of tissue re-growth inside the artery, known as in-stent restenosis.
Davenport said the incidence of restenosis among patients with a regular stent is about 14 percent to 28 percent. Studies have shown that the new stent would reduce blockage to about 5 percent of patients.
The new stent comes in two sizes for now, Davenport said. The Cypher stent is available in about 60 countries. More than 1,400 people in the United States and Europe have participated in clinical trials.
Davenport said the cost of the new stent is about 40 percent higher than the regular stents, but he said the cost is expected to come down when another company puts its drug-eluting stent on the market later this year.
ALL ABOUT STENTS
Introduced in 1994, stents are small, stainless steel, expandable wire mesh tubes that are inserted into coronary arteries with the use of balloon angioplasty, which widens the artery. The stent is used to hold the treated artery open. The new Cypher stent Rush Foundation Hospital uses is coated with a drug that reduces the risk of the artery becoming blocked again from scar tissue or tissue re-growth from the blood vessel walls around the stent. Jeff Anderson Regional Medical Center plans to begin using the new stents within a couple of weeks.

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