Article Content

Drug-eluting stents work as well as bare-metal stents at keeping blocked arteries open, according to a meta-analysis in the April 23 Archives of Internal Medicine. Additionally, drug-eluting stents don't increase the risk of death, and they're more likely to prevent narrowing of the arteries than bare-metal stents. Researchers analyzed records from 11 clinical trials involving a total of 6,551 patients; approximately two-thirds had been fitted with drug-eluting stents and one-third with bare-metal stents. About a year after the stents were placed, there were no significant differences between groups in the risks of death, stent thrombosis, or heart attack recurrence. However, patients with drug-eluting stents required revascularization nearly half as often as those with bare-metal stents. The results, write the authors, "provide strong evidence of the beneficial effects" of drug-eluting stents compared with bare-metal stents.