New imaging technique could improve outcome of popular heart procedure

April 24, 2001

Baltimore, MD (April 25, 2001) - Researchers at Harvard Medical School may have found a way to give patients, like Vice President Dick Cheney, peace of mind after undergoing stent angioplasty to open up a coronary artery partially blocked with plaque. Cheney underwent this procedure last December after having chest pains, and he had a follow up procedure this March when the stent became re-blocked, a problem known as restenosis. At a presentation May 8th at the annual meeting of Conference on Lasers and Electro Optics (CLEO) in Baltimore, Maryland, Dr. Brett Bouma and his colleagues will present research on a technique called optical coherence tomography (OCT), a technique that can be used on patients following a stent angioplasty procedure to monitor the stent deployment and how well the stent is keeping the artery open.

Stent angioplasty is one of the most popular ways doctors treat the life threatening condition called atherosclerosis, where coronary arteries become blocked with plaque. The procedure, which is performed on nearly 500,000 patients each year, uses a small metal mesh tube (stent) to reinforce an artery re-opened with balloon angioplasty. However, following the procedure, 20-30% of patients like Vice President Cheney, experience restenosis, or re-blockage in or around the stent. Until now, there has been little ability during, or following the procedure, to accurately monitor how the stents were deploying and working. "It is currently thought that stents with inadequate deployment are susceptible to restenosis," says Dr. Bouma. In addition, "over deployment, causing trauma to the vessel, is also a potential problem associated with restenosis."

Intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) is currently used in interventional cardiology to monitor stents, but because of the number of reflections of acoustic waves off the metal stent the technique doesn't have high enough resolution to precisely determine if the stent deployed correctly, or if it has become partially re-blocked. Dr. Bouma says optical coherence tomography (OCT), which combines research in medicine, optics, and physics, operates much like ultrasound but uses infrared light rather than acoustic waves. He adds that OCT does a better job of imaging the stent because there is none of the reflected interference that's a problem for IVUS. "Accurately monitoring stent deployment would allow for adequate stent dilation without injury," says Dr. Bouma, "this would potentially reduce restenosis rates."

In a study of 10 patients with 11 stents Dr. Bouma says the OCT technique was able to pick up some degree of plaque re-deposits in and around all 11 stents, with six having more significant plaque involvement. In contrast, the IVUS technique detected plaque re-deposit in only one stent. Dr. Bouma says that while this research is still in the early stages, "this is exciting technology that could change the way stents are deployed and the way patients are treated after stenting."
Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics, Quantum Electronics and Laser Science Conference (CLEO/QELS) Baltimore Convention Center
May 6-10, 2001

American Institute of Physics

Related Stents Articles from Brightsurf:

3D printed stents that treat inflammation
POSTECH Professor Dong-Woo Cho's research team develops bioink-loaded esophageal stents for treating radiation esophagitis.

Study could be first step in providing personalized care to patients with ureteral stents
Published today in Cell Reports Medicine, researchers at Lawson Health Research Institute and Western University conducted a novel microbiome study to examine bacteria associated with ureteral stents.

Two paths better than one for treating patients with heart stents
Pairing a blood-thinning drug with aspirin daily for patients who have an angioplasty with a stent can contribute to better health outcomes, including lower risk of death, than aspirin alone, according to a recent study by cardiologists at the University of Alberta and Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute.

Open heart surgery outperforms stents in patients with multivessel disease
Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) surgery may be the best treatment option for most patients with more than one blocked heart artery, according to research published today in The Annals of Thoracic Surgery, published by Elsevier.

For infants with heart disease, are shunts or stents better to maintain blood flow?
Infants with various forms of congenital heart disease require a stable source of blood flow to their lungs in order to survive until a more definitive operation can be performed.

3-D-printed polymer stents grow with pediatric patients and biodegrade over time
A new study demonstrates proof-of-concept for combining computational design and simulation tools with 3-D printing technology to produce self-expandable polymer stents that can grow with pediatric patients, are biodegradable, and require only a minimally-invasive procedure for implantation.

Cardiologist warns against dissolvable stents in NEJM
In a New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) editorial published last week, Debabrata Mukherjee, M.D., provides expert commentary on bioresorbable stents, an alternative to the traditional stents used in patients with cardiac conditions.

A simple fix to avoid some unnecessary coronary stents
Physician researchers at Thomas Jefferson University suspect that some cases of coronary artery spasm go unrecognized and are incorrectly treated with stents.

For malignant biliary obstruction, plastic stents may be cost-effective alternative
Preoperative biliary drainage (PBD) with stent placement has been commonly used for patients with malignant biliary obstruction.

3-D printing customized vascular stents
Using high-resolution 3-D printing, Northwestern University researchers can create flexible, biodegradable stents on-demand that are customized for a patient's specific anatomy.

Read More: Stents News and Stents Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to