High-Risk Stroke Patients See Prevention Stenting Become Safer

Posted by Admin on June 15, 2012

Having a stent implanted in a key neck artery is now safer than ever for patients who do not qualify for standard surgical treatment of carotid artery disease. This is according to a study published in the Journal of Vascular Surgery.

Led by Dr. Jon Matsumura, a team of scientists discovered the clinical trial PROTECT (Carotid Artery Stenting with Distal Embolic Protection with Improved System) had the lowest rate of complications ever in patients considered high risk for carotid endarterectomy (CEA). This procedure is known to be the gold standard for releasing blockage in the carotid artery. Narrowing of blood vessels in the neck or carotid artery stenosis is widely known to be the main cause of strokes in the United States.

According to Matsumura, "Recent improvements in devices designed specifically for carotid artery stenting have resulted in safer procedures and better clinical outcomes. These technological advances, combined with a stronger understanding of patient risk factors, have also improved our ability to select which patients are best suited for the less invasive procedure."

The PROTECT trial was a multicenter study that examined the safety of the Emboshield Pro – a - an embolic protection device used in conjunction with stenting to widen the carotid artery and capture dislodged plaque during the process.

During the study, a total of 322 patients with carotid artery stenosis at 38 centers were examined across the United States between 2006 and 2008. The initial 220 patients received a stent and Emboshield Pro, while the remaining 102 received a stent and an obsolete embolic protection device known as Emboshield BareWire.

The researchers tracked several clinical outcomes including death, stroke, or heart attack in the 30 days following the procedure. Of the 220 treated with Emboshield Pro, three patients had a minor stroke, one had a major stroke, and one had a heart attack. These were the lowest rate of complications ever recorded for the procedure amongst high-risk patient populations.

Matsumura concludes, These results are consistent with the trends from other trials, where we are seeing complication rates dropping for patients being treated with stents and embolic protection devices. This is very good news for high-risk patients suffering with carotid artery disease, who only a decade ago had limited treatment options and poor long-term outcomes."

"These results are consistent with the trends from other trials, where we are seeing complication rates dropping for patients being treated with stents and embolic protection devices," Matsumura says. "This is very good news for high-risk patients suffering with carotid artery disease, who only a decade ago had limited treatment options and poor long-term outcomes."


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