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Maine Heart Center - Drug-Eluting Stent
Drug-Eluting Stent

For over 10 years, Maine Heart Center physicians have been implanting coronary stents into small arteries on the surface of the heart to improve blood flow and relieve symptoms of angina pectoris (chest pain). Stents are small metal mesh tubes that are expanded by a balloon at the site of blockage and act as scaffolding to keep the artery open and maximize blood flow to the heart muscle. Over 2,300 patients underwent this procedure at MHC last year.

In early 2003, the FDA approved a new heart stent (Cypher, Cordis/JNJ) that has had a major favorable impact on how well patients do after stent implantation. These stents have been coated with a drug that dramatically reduces any reblockage of the stent. By inhibiting scar tissue formation within the stent, the medicated stent reduces the chance a patient will need to return for a reblockage of the implanted stent by 75%.

The cardiology clinical research group at MMC continues to play a major role in multiple clinical trials evaluating new drug-eluting stent technology.

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