Drug Eluting Stent Approved For Clogged Arteries In The Leg
Drug Eluting Stent approved for clogged arteries in the leg
Peripheral arterial disease is basically the clogging of arteries due to deposition of fatty material known as plaque.
Usually we are talking about coronary heart disease when we talk about clogged arteries, but this stent covers the artery of the thigh which is responsible for conditions like severe leg pain, untreatable or recurrent ulcers and gangrene all of which could result in leg amputation later on.
Plastic/ balloon or metal stents have been used previously to clear the clogging of the artery but their efficiency has not been good enough to keep the artery open for long. Such stents were usually considered as an emergency treatment for heart disease, but not a proper solution for blocked arteries since the rate of re-narrowing of the artery was considerably high. Drug coated stents help in the maintenance of vasodilation through extended drug action on the narrowed artery. This results in decreased chances for re-narrowing of artery.
A clinical trial of 479 people helped the doctors to study the effect the drug eluting stents. When the results were compared after one year, 83% of the arteries with drug coated stents were still open as compared to the 33% of the arteries that remained open in the control group.
These results only tell that drug coated stents are more efficient and have better protective function as compared to those that had stents without the drug. The stent could immediately open a blocked artery, but a drug is required to prolong the dilated effect and prevent re narrowing of the artery.
Open and dilated arteries help in providing better blood supply to the leg and the foot, allowing repair for the cells that were injured due to lack of oxygen. Quick restoration of blood supply will help prevent ulcers and gangrene; in short preventing the amputation of the leg.
The only complication seen in the rest of the patients was the re narrowing of the artery after the drug eluting stent treatment. Other clinical trials still need to be conducted to confirm its safety for pregnant and women who aim for pregnancy in the next 5 years.
Such advancements will lead to improved emergency management of the circulatory conditions related to the leg and other cardiovascular emergencies with time.