Brain Stent Less Effective at Stroke Treatment Than Plavix and Aspirin: Study

A new study by U.S. researchers finds that using Stryker’s Wingspan brain stent in stroke victims may be more dangerous and less effective than traditional drug treatments and lifestyle changes. 

The study found that people who were implanted with the Wingspan brain stent after a stroke were more than twice as likely to suffer another stroke or even die than those treated just with Plavix and aspirin. The findings were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The rate of stroke and death was so high in patients implanted with the Wingspan stent that the U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) forced the trials to stop in April.

Did You Know?

Millions of Philips CPAP Machines Recalled

Philips DreamStation, CPAP and BiPAP machines sold in recent years may pose a risk of cancer, lung damage and other injuries.

Learn More

Researchers looked at 451 patients across the U.S. who had recently suffered a stroke. While all of the patients were treated with Plavix and aspirin, half were also implanted with the Wingspan. In the first month, nearly 15% of those implanted with the Wingspan had a stroke or died. That compares with just under 6% of the group treated with drugs alone. The risk appeared to increase from there. Over the next year 20.5% of those implanted with the stent had a stroke or died, compared with 15% of the group treated with just drugs.

An independent safety board with the NINDS stopped the researchers from adding more patients to the study due to the high rate of Wingspan strokes.

The researchers concluded that drug treatment and lifestyle changes were more effective at stroke treatment and found that a combination of Plavix and aspirin was particularly effective in the first 90 days following a stroke.

Plavix (clopidogrel) is a blood thinner that prevents blood platelets from sticking together to form clots. It is often prescribed to prevent heart attacks, strokes and blood clotting when drug coated stents are used in patients with arteriosclerosis and in other at-risk patients. It is a blockbuster medication, generating more than $6.5 billion in U.S. sales for Bristol Myers Squibb Co. and Sanofi-Aventis in 2010.


"*" indicates required fields

Share Your Comments

I authorize the above comments be posted on this page*

Have Your Comments Reviewed by a Lawyer

Provide additional contact information if you want an attorney to review your comments and contact you about a potential case. This information will not be published.

NOTE: Providing information for review by an attorney does not form an attorney-client relationship.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.