OhioHealth Cardiologist Among First in Nation to Place New Stent for Patients with Peripheral Artery Disease
Gary Ansel, MD, expects “breakthrough” drug-eluting device to open blocked arteries longer, reduce repeat procedures
A new drug-eluting stent placed by OhioHealth interventional cardiologist Gary Ansel, MD, promises longer-lasting relief that can save lives and limbs for patients with peripheral artery disease (PAD).
Ansel became one of the first physicians in the United States to implant the stent recently when he treated a blockage in an artery behind the knee of a woman with non-healing ulcers on her toes from PAD. The procedure was performed at OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital.
“It went extremely well,” said Ansel, a specialist in vascular medicine. “This is a breakthrough therapy that signifies an important advance in our treatment of PAD. We expect to perform fewer repeat procedures with this stent, which is a really big deal.”
The Food and Drug Administration approved the stent by Boston Scientific in September. The stent consists of tiny wire mesh scaffolding with a drug-polymer coating that releases an existing chemotherapy drug to prevent reclogging.
Data from a clinical trial of 475 patients indicated that one in 20 required a repeat procedure with the new stent, compared to one in 10 with the only other drug-eluting stent approved for the legs among patients with PAD. The FDA approval was based on the results of the trial.
The new stent, called Eluvia, releases its drug over a period of one year instead of the 60-day release of the previous drug-eluting stent. “In the trial, the artery stayed open longer and there was less total blockage after one year than with the only other approved stent,” Ansel said. ”The one on the market now releases its drug very quickly by comparison.”
Nearly 9 million Americans have PAD, a narrowing of arteries in the legs– due to the build-up of fatty deposits called plaque – that restricts blood flow throughout the body, including to the head and heart. “More people die from heart attack and stroke in this population than in any other,” Ansel said.
If blood flow is not returned, the condition also can lead to amputations, he said.
PAD Symptoms can include pain, numbness, heaviness in the legs and non-healing wounds, although the condition often is asymptomatic.
The Eluvia stent has been used with excellent results in Europe since 2016.
Although coronary stents have been used for several years in the United States, the development of stents for the legs has been problematic due to differences in anatomy, including bigger and longer blood vessels in the legs. “There are a lot of external forces bearing down on stents in the legs,” Ansel said. “This new stent is the closest thing to a heart stent than anything before and it has the best one-year patency rate to date.”
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