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Are Biodegradable Heart Stents Safe?

Resorbable Stents Appear Safe in 10 Year Follow-up of 50 Heart Patients

Biodegradable Stents: Perspective

"These stents actually look safe," says Vincent Bufalino, MD, a spokesman for the American Heart Association and director of cardiology at Advocate Cardiovascular Institute in Chicago. The new report, he tells WebMD, ''gives us some comfort and a long view of these patients."

However, he says, the rate of re-narrowing found, 16%, is about twice that of metal drug-coated stents.

If the biodegradable stent becomes available, it could reduce the need for the blood-thinning drugs used now, Garratt says.

With the metal stents, "we think the blood clot risk falls off fairly steeply after two or three years. It's not clear if the risk ever goes to zero," Garratt says.

Garratt has served as speaker for Abbott Vascular and for Boston Scientific, which also makes heart stents.

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