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Study on Absorbable Artery Stent Underway in Springfield

Absorb Stent
Photo Courtesy of medgadget.com

Mercy Hospital Springfield is evaluating a new device to treat clogged arteries, which could lead to heart attacks.

Absorb is a bioresorbable vascular scaffold.  It’s used in place of traditional metal stents to prop open blocked arteries. 

The device is a small mesh tube made from polylactide, a material that’s commonly used in things like dissolvable stitches.

Mercy cardiologist Dr. Robert Merritt says it hold s the artery open for a certain amount of time until the artery heals and then dissolves.  He says, if the absorb scaffold works, it could represent a significant leap in the treatment of coronary artery disease.

"We think this will be the fourth revolution in coronary revascularization.  What I mean by that is, to revascularize the artery you either need a surgical bypass or something to hold the arteries open.  The difficulties, you know, with bypass and leaving metal litter inside the arteries like a stent that's steel come with certain difficulties in the longterm management of patients, so anything to delay the implantation of devices that either don't  dissolve or require an advanced surgical procedure is a benefit to the patient," he said.

Dr. Merritt says they’re looking for 2,250 participants for the study over the next year or so.  The study involves a two to one randomization—the person who receives a stent would be two times as likely to get the absorb stent as a metal stent.

Mercy will compare the results over the next five years to look at long-term results.

Merritt says bioabsorbable stents have been studied since 2006—clinical trials in Europe have been completed.

In the U.S., the study has been going on for only about three months.

He says Mercy was chosen because of its clinical trial experience and because of its high volume of coronary artery disease patients.

To learn more about the Absorb clinical trial, 820-2511.