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Drug-coated stents help in treating blocked leg arteries

Drug-coated stents are effective in treating blocked leg arteries, according to results from a two-year follow up study evaluating Zilver PTX (paclitaxel-coated) stent.

The multicentre, prospective, randomised trial enrolled 479 patients, who underwent treatment to open blocked superficial femoral arteries – which provide blood to the lower legs.

About half of the patients received Zilver PTX stent, while the rest received angioplasty alone.

Patients in whom the angioplasty procedure was unsuccessful, were then randomised to a provisional group to receive either paclitaxel-coated or bare-metal stents.

The two-year data analysed 278 patients, in which, 50% received Zilver PTX stent, 25% received angioplasty alone, 12.5% received angioplasty plus provisional bare metal stent, and 12.5% received angioplasty plus provisional Zilver PTX stent.

After two years, 74.8% of the arteries remained open in patients who were treated with the drug-coated stents, and event-free survival was 86.6% for Zilver PTX patients.

No patient deaths were linked to the study device or procedure.

In the provisional stenting group, after two years, 81.2% of the arteries remained open in patients who were treated with drug-coated stents, compared to 62.7% in those who received bare metal stents.