Late Summer 2002
Clot Preventer Hits the Spot: Drug-Coated Stents at the Heart Institute

The Heart Institute Stents. When these little mesh scaffolds were first introduced to hold open heart arteries after angioplasty, they were hailed as a breakthrough. The experts in The Heart Institute at Bridgeport Hospital quickly recognized their value, and used them to reduce the chances of re-stenosis. (That’s when the newly opened artery recloses, making repeat angioplasty necessary.)

However, even with stents holding the artery open, there was still a chance that blood clots could form at the site of the stent, blocking the artery again.

But now, you might think of stents as mini-pharmacies—because as well has holding the blood vessel open, they can deliver clot-preventing medication right to the spot! New stents now in use at Bridgeport Hospital are coated with heparin, a blood-thinning agent. This reduces the risk of clots that can lodge in the stented part of the artery.

"Heparin-coated stents may be the major advance in cardiology of the decade," says Dr. Mitchell Driesman, director of Interventional Cardiology at Bridgeport Hospital.

"Drug-coated stents represent a major step forward in the treatment of coronary artery disease," says Dr. Stuart Zarich, the hospital's chief of Cardiology. "With this advance, patients at Bridgeport Hospital are more likely than ever to recover without re-stenosis."

For a referral to a physician, or a brochure about the Heart Institute at Bridgeport Hospital, please call Bridgeport Hospital Physician/Services Referral at 888-357-2396.