Release Date: 2/29/2012
St. Anthony’s uses first FDA-approved treatment for heart disease patients with diabetes
St. Anthony’s Medical Center recently became one of the first hospitals in the St. Louis area to use a newly approved medical device to open narrowed coronary arteries, even in heart disease patients with diabetes. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved this new device, the Resolute Integrity Drug-Eluting Stent (DES) from Medtronic.
The new stent is the first and only heart stent to be FDA approved for treating patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) who also have diabetes. Approximately one-third of all patients – an estimated 300,000 people in the U.S. alone – who receive a stent each year have diabetes.
Research shows that people who have diabetes are at a greater risk for developing coronary artery disease, and patients with both diabetes and coronary artery disease face an increased rate of heart attacks and strokes than patients without diabetes.
“The Resolute Integrity Drug-Eluting Stent represents a significant advance in the interventional treatment of coronary artery disease,” said David Morton, M.D., clinical director of The Heart Specialty Associates and medical director of St. Anthony’s Heart Specialty Center. “The stent’s indication for coronary artery disease patients with diabetes in particular really distinguishes it from the alternatives.”
Caused by a buildup of fatty deposits, or plaque, in coronary arteries, coronary artery disease is the most common type of heart disease and the leading cause of death in the United States, killing almost half a million Americans each year. Research shows that people with diabetes have a two- to three-fold increased risk for coronary artery disease and two- to four-fold higher coronary artery disease morbidity and mortality rates. In the past, it has been difficult to treat coronary artery disease patients with diabetes because they tend to have smaller coronary arteries and persistently elevated blood-sugar levels, which can increase the rate of complications during cardiac procedures as well as long-term safety risks.
A stent is a tiny mesh cylinder designed to prop open a narrowed artery. A drug-eluting stent is coated with medication that is designed to prevent the artery from narrowing again; the drug elutes from the stent and into the arterial wall.
To treat coronary artery disease, stents are implanted in a minimally invasive procedure called percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). Performed by an interventional cardiologist, the procedure involves the insertion of a tiny balloon into the vessel at the site of the narrowing. Crimped tightly on the end of the balloon is the stent. When inflated, the stent expands against the wall of the narrowed artery. With the stent expanded, the balloon is deflated and removed. The stent remains in place to keep the artery open, restoring normal blood flow to the heart.
St. Anthony’s Medical Center, located at 10010 Kennerly Road in south St. Louis County, is the third-largest medical center in the St. Louis area. The 767-bed facility, a level-two trauma center, offers a broad continuum of health care services, including cardiology, neurology, orthopedics, oncology/cancer care, maternity services, emergency medicine, surgery, hospice care and behavioral health.
For information, please call our Health Access Line at 314-ANTHONY (268-4669) or 800-554-9550 or visit find a physician online.
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