A study of first-generation drug-eluting stents in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology shows that first-generation drug-eluting stents, especially Cordis Corp.‘s Cypher, are more likely to fracture than previously thought.
Researchers examined 177 coronary lesions that had been treated with either Boston Scientific Corp.‘s (BSX) Taxus or the Johnson & Johnson(JNJ) subsidiary’s Cypher model, retrieved from autopsies. They found fractures in 51, or 29 percent. That’s far higher than prior estimates, which indicated that 1 percent to 2 percent of DESs fracture.
Sixty-three percent of the stents that fractured were Cyphers. Older stents, longer stents and overlapping stents all showed a greater incidence of fracture. And of the nine stents that fractured most severely, 67 percent showed signs of thrombosis (blood clots), restenosis (scar tissue) or other adverse conditions. Less severe fractures, however, didn’t show signs of promoting the adverse conditions.