A pair of studies published in Cardiology Today delivered positive results for Boston Scientific Corp.‘s Taxus and Taxus Express drug-eluting stents.
The first study compared the Taxus paclitaxel-eluting stent with Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Cordis Corp.’s Cypher sirolimus-eluting stent in a total of 6,035 patients. It indicated that, a year after implantation with either device, patients showed “similar rates of clinically important restenosis and ischemic complications.”
That means that each stent performed equally well after a year, with similar rates of cardiac death, non-fatal heart attack or a composite measure of the two.
But the study detailed a complicating factor for each device. About 7 percent of the patients implanted with the Taxus stent had heart attacks before, during or soon after the procedure, compared with 6 percent of patients implanted with the Cypher stent.
However, about 4.4 percent of patients implanted with that Cordis stent showed “target lesion revascularization” — tissue growth around the implant that might re-occlude the vessel — versus about 3.3 percent of patients implanted with the BSC device.
The second study examined the safety of implanting multiple Taxus Express stents (also paclitaxel-eluting devices) in 441 patients with coronary artery disease in two or three separate blood vessels.
Two years after implantation with multiple stents, 90.5 percent of all patients showed complete revascularization, with 78 experiencing “major adverse cardiac and cerebrovascular events” — including non-fatal heart attack, “all-cause mortality,” revascularization or some type of clinical event involving the blood vessels of the brain, such as a stroke.
The researchers found that older patients, those with diabetes or who suffered a type of heart attack related to unstable angina were more likely to have a major adverse cardiac or cerebrovascular event.
And patients whose vessels partially grew back or who were at risk for the unstable angina-related heart attack were more likely to die or suffer a major heart attack.
“With the aim of complete revascularization, multiple paclitaxel-eluting stent implantation is safe for patients with multivessel [coronary artery disease],” according to the researchers.