In the stream of medical science, the practice of using metallic stents has been pretty common until now though a new breakthrough has provided a whole new way in which stents can be made a lot safer for people who need to get these. According to recent studies, bio-absorbable or biodegradable stents are being dubbed the next logical step in the evolution of stents. However, a lot of people are still not convinced whether biodegradable heart stents are safe for use or not.
What is the difference between metallic and biodegradable heart stents?
Metallic stents have been the norm for a very long time now. However, these have a lot of distinct disadvantages. Even though these rigid stents keep the arteries open, they can also cause scarring in the vessel tissue causing retenosis and clogging the artery again. A number of other complications have also been attributed to metallic stents despite the use of drug infused varieties.
On the other hand, biodegradable stents don’t cause any such complications. After the stent has managed to open up the blocked arteries and allowed the flow of oxygen and blood to flow optimally, it simply dissolves into the body which prevents scarring.
What are biodegradable heart stents made of?
Biodegradable heart stents are made of a naturally dissolving material called poly-l-lactide which can remain in the body for a maximum of three years or a minimum of 18 months. As opposed to metallic stents, biodegradable heart stents do not block the detection of other blockages so that the patient who has one of these fitted into their heart does not need to resort to intrusive investigations.
Why is not having a permanent heart stent advantageous?
One of the simplest advantage of not using a permanent heart stent is that biodegradable heart stents allow the lumen to inflate while a metallic one does not. In fact, a permanent metallic stent hinders the remodeling of the vessel as it develops around the stent. A biodegradable heart stent also negates the chances of incurring inflammatory reactions as the material it is made of isn’t perceived to be a foreign material by the human body.
How does a biodegradable stent work?
When fatty matter like cholesterol begins to accumulate on the inner wall of the arteries, they get clogged up and ultimately reduce the width of the lumen and prevent the flow of blood to the heart.
This results in a condition called angina which is experienced by the human by in the guise of chest pains. At the initial stage, this ailment can be corrected with the help of medication though in cases where the artery is fully obstructed, the patient can suffer a heart attack. At this stage, an angioplasty is needed. In this procedure, a guide wire is used to insert a balloon into the artery after which it is inflated near the location of the blockage. Once the artery is opened using the balloon, the stent is used to keep the artery open. To prevent irregular tissue growth, biodegradable heart stents release a chemical called everolimus.
Studies and researches and that found biodegradable heart stents to be safe
Based in Moriyana City, Japan, the Shiga Medical Center for Adults’ cardiology department studied 6 women and 44 men that had been given the biodegradable heart stents. Dr. Kunhiko Kosuga, MD. And PhD., led the study and found that the survival rate of patients with symptoms that could have resulted in certain death as a result of heart disease was 98 percent. in the year following the procedure, 16% of the patients experience re-narrowed blood vessel and only four suffered heart attacks after having received the biodegradable heart stents.
Countries that have approved or are close to approving biodegradable heart stents
In Asia, Vietnam, The Philippines, Hong Kong, Singapore and India have approved the use of biodegradable heart stents along with many Middle Eastern countries and 9 European countries. In Latin America, Canada, Asia-Pacific and the rest of Europe, an ongoing clinical trial is studying 600 patients in around 100 centers present though the trial is expecting to get 1000 patients to participate in the study before it is over. Long term effects of biodegradable heart stents on the patients are still being studies.
About The Author – Claudia is a writer/blogger. She loves writing, traveling and reading books. She contributes on Michael Zammuto