Drug-Coated Stents Linked to Higher Death Rate: Study

A new study has found that patients who received drug-coated stents after suffering a heart attack were more likely to die from a heart-related problem than those who received bare metal coronary stents. 

The results of the study, performed by Danish researchers at the behest of coronary stent manufacturers, were revealed at a recent conference held by the American College of Cardiology in Atlanta, according to a story by Reuters. The study’s findings come as drug-coated stents have taken a 77% share of the stent market, eclipsing bare metal stent use in just seven years since the drug-coated stents were first released, but down from a 90% high in 2006.

Coronary stents are wire mesh tubes inserted into previously clogged arteries to prevent them from closing again and possibly causing the recipient to suffer a heart attack or other coronary problems. The drug-coated stents, also known as drug eluting stents, are covered in medication meant to prevent the formation of scar tissue that may clog the stent. However, shortly after they were introduced seven years ago, studies began to show that drug-coated stents carried their own risks.

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

Studies have identified heart attack, reclogging of arteries and death as potential side effects of drug-covered stents. While it was originally believed that patients would only need to be on blood thinners for three months after receiving a medicated stent, in reality patients often required to take powerful blood thinners, like Plavix, for much longer, which exposes them to other risks and complications associated with those medications.

The most recent study, which has not yet been published, examined the effectiveness and risk of bare metal and drug-coated stents implanted shortly after a heart attack. Researchers found that drug-coated stent recipients were more likely to die from heart problems than patients who received bare metal stents. However, bare metal stent recipients tended to appear to have more non-lethal problems, such as requiring blockages to be alleviated.

Scientists involved in the study said that more research was needed to truly understand the long-term effects and side effects of drug eluting stents.

The results could be of particular concern given two studies published 2007 in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), which found that more than half of all drug-coated stents are used for “off-label” reasons which have not been approved by the FDA. In at least half the cases studied, researchers found that patients had at least one condition that should have disqualified them from receiving a heart stent.

Some experts have also questioned the widespread popularity of stent placements, indicating that many patients may be able to treat their conditions with medication or diet. In Maryland, a well-known cardiac center has come under fire for implanting hundreds of unnecessary stents. St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson has notified 538 former patients of Dr. Mark Midei that a subsequent review of their records indicates that a heart stent may not have been needed to treat their blockage.

Stent procedures cost $10,000 or more each. Midei was stripped of his position at the hospital last summer and the hospital is still reviewing his records and anticipates more patients will have to be informed about the unnecessary surgeries.


  • MikeJanuary 23, 2011 at 12:41 am

    fyi, tHE FDA GETS PAID TO EXAMINE AND RUBBER STAMP THE SO CALLED RESEARCH FINDINGS OF THE DRUG COMPANIES. tHEY DONT INVESTIGATE OR RESEARCH THE DRUGS . INSTEAD SOME ON A SO CALLED EXPERT PANEL EVEN GET( GRANTS, SPEAKING AND LECTURE FEES( KICKBACKS FROM THE DRUG MAKERS) tHE WOLVES( FDA EMPLOYYEES) GUARDING THE HEN HOUSE( RESEARCH ,MARKETING AND SALES) ARE OFTEN WELL FED BY THESE CROOKS. iF THAT D[Show More]fyi, tHE FDA GETS PAID TO EXAMINE AND RUBBER STAMP THE SO CALLED RESEARCH FINDINGS OF THE DRUG COMPANIES. tHEY DONT INVESTIGATE OR RESEARCH THE DRUGS . INSTEAD SOME ON A SO CALLED EXPERT PANEL EVEN GET( GRANTS, SPEAKING AND LECTURE FEES( KICKBACKS FROM THE DRUG MAKERS) tHE WOLVES( FDA EMPLOYYEES) GUARDING THE HEN HOUSE( RESEARCH ,MARKETING AND SALES) ARE OFTEN WELL FED BY THESE CROOKS. iF THAT DOESNT KEEP THEM RICH OR OUT OF TROUBLE OR IF THET GET CAUGHT THEN THEY CAN ALWAYS CALL UP SOME CONGRESSMAN LIKE HENRY WAXMAN TO ( WAG THE DOG) INVESTIGATE. WHO INVESTIGATES THE INVESTIGATORS? NOT CBS.NBC OR FOX . THEIR BIGGEST ADVERTIZERS ARE DRUG COMPANIES LIKEWISE , CONGRESSIONAL LEADERS AND TAILS WAGGING DOGS GET THE MOST OF THIER BONES FROM PHARMA DONT THEY? nOT ONLY DID THEY LIE ABOUT THESE STENTS BUT PLAVIX IS ANOTHER SCAM AS WELL LOOK AT WHO BUYS STOCK IN WHICH COMPANIES AND WHEN . AFTERALL COUMADIN IS BASICALLY RAT POISION AND THE FDA DOESNT REQUIRE THAT EVENT TEST LAB RATS ANYMORE OR EVEN CONGRESSIONAL ONES . WE ARE NOW THE DRUG MAKERS LAB RATS AND RESEARCH DOESNT REALLY MATTER ,JUST ELECTION CONTRIBUTIONS , RESEARCH GRANTS ,CONSULTING AND LECTURE FEES ARE ENOUGH TO BUY THE MEDICAL EXPERTISE TO COMPLETE THE STICHWORK OF THE EMPERORS NEW LABCOAT. 4 OUT 5 SENATORS RECCOMEND PHARMA WHOS FEEDING THE WOLVESS THAT ARE WATCHING THE DOGS THAT ARE WAGGING THEIR TAILS ? WHO JUST PEED ON MY LEG OR AM I BARKING UP THE WRONG TREE? lOOKING AT SOME CONNECTIONS BETWEEN WAXMAN AND SOME OF HIS DOCTOR AND PROFESSOR BUDDIES AND THE HEART DOCTORS HES HELPING OUT FROM TIME TO TIME IS AS EASY AS YOU CAN SPELL GOOGLE. i DID . BUT ONLY AFTER DYING FOR THE 3RD TIME 6 DRUG ELUTING STENTS.5 HEARTATTACKS AND 4 WHICH ARE UNDENIABLY CAUSED BY CLOTS WITHIN EACH STENT AND CLEARLY CAUSING HEART ATTACKS WHILE DOCTORS CONTINUED TO STENT ME AGAINST MY WISHES WHILE LATER EVEN COMMITTING FRAUD ALONG WITH MALPRACTICE ACTUALLY CAUSING ME EVEN FURTHER HARM AND DENIAL OF URGENT CARE . i WAS CLINICALLY DEAD AT LEAST 3 OF THESE TIMES ONLY TO AWAKEN TO THE HORROR OF LEARNING THEY CONTINUED TO STENT ME EVEN AFTER I AND OTHERS TOLD THEM NOT TO I have been stented with 6 DES. 4 have clotted and actaully caused my Heart attacks. My 1st was by a doctor treating me during a heart attack 6 month s after i was treated for testicula cancer and radiation treatment had ceased .I suspect that radiation caused the original clot in my Rca that was stented by a reasonible doctor whom treated me during and for my 1st heart attack Around a year later. I gain started having severe chest pains and saw a different cardio doc whom said that the 1st stent had closed and a second was placed next to it as a fix. this time something felt wrong . The pain was worseing daily . I went to see the same doc whom had placed it and he without even looking at my chart, and somewhat defensive stated"thats impossible we just stented you and there cant be anything wrong with your heart we were just inside and if your having chest pain go see a pulmonologist , its impossible that your having problems with the stent we placed" It seemed odd that he seemed to be so defensive. I thought maybe I read him wrong or he was having a bad day and later went to see a pulmonolgist as he suggested . The pain worsened so i returned.I begged him to test me and he refused again saying No theres no way ,its just impossible. My chest pains worsened and only days later . I returned again. This time he had to test me as I had forced the issue by scheduling a back surgery that required a cardio clearance/stress test. Telling all friends and family that there was no way i would pass ths stress test. I indeed failed it while later proving the exsistance of a clot in the same stent he had put in and previously stated as imposssible. The same doctor had also boasted of stenting another patient 14 times. I was then afraid he wasnt being honest but i was having severe chest pains due to the "impossible " clot in his last stent. He then asked that my wife and i tell no one and that he would treat me in Er the next day and use a non-des stent. This seemed even stranger . I was having a heart attack and he wanted to wait . I called a doctor friend whom agreed his actions were at best strange and without sound reasoning. I did go to Er but had family and others whom I also told 'Do not let them stent me' Just let them do a cath and I will get a second opinion . I dont trust this doctor anymore. I also explained to the doctors and staff at the hospital that NO STENTs were to be used. I awoke from surgery with 2 more DES. It was horrible again within only a few days I knew something was wrong, Now with 4stents later googled Stent Deaths and began seeking help from others explaining that my doctor wouldnt test me before and now after having nearly let me die before was again claming it was impossible .all in my head now even threatining me and my wife . 'I know we dropped the ball before but your not having any problems with these stents and if you continue to insist on such I will fire you as a patient . I again pleaded with him to do a stress test or that which would prove my pains,symptoms and concerns were unmerrited. he was defensive and now even adversarial and did indeed spike my medical records sending false information to my primary doc stating There is nothing wrong .He needs counciling ... causing her also to ignore my pleas for help and instead give an rx me fprilosec calling it GI pain. Again soonafter I had yet another heart attack and again documented proof that such was from another clot found within the same stents i had told all not to use. This time he attempted to blame such on me and lied telling my family that I had a death wish and that i had stopped taking my Plavix. LIES. It was crystal clear he now had an agenda and one that shortly after caused me yet another heart attack and even after 2 before had clotted the same docs against my ongiong demands no to keep stenting me did any way .. Soon after it clotted and gainst my wishes and against my clear directions not to Stent me the doctor added 2 more even after i said not to stent me with DES Within days my symptoms got even worse so . Again I explained my concerns ,pain and symptoms. The doctor refused to test me saying that it was impossible as he was just in and had stented me . The pain worsened so I again begged that he listen and test me now just 10 days after he had stented me. He seemed angry and againsaid it was impossible and that no stents be placed and with witnesses present. went back to the doctor whom insisted again that it was impossible for me to be having problems he even threatened to spike my medical records with lies stating " noone will belive you and I am a doctor ,I will fire you as a patient and make it look like your crazy if you keep insisting your having heart problems. I went to ER the following morning during the heart attack whereas i soon coded and awoke with two more stents( numbers 5 and 6 that soon clotted causing my 4th heart attack. All such have clear documentation as caused by clots within these same stents. I have 2 left that havent yet clotted ( offically) Each time I was told it was impossible and yet each time it was and the clots withing the same stents put in supposedly to correct the failures of the ones before. I also suggested I was plavix /aspirin resistant and told not to worry and that ther was no test for such. I was told I would only have to take Plavix for 90 days, then 6 months then a year ,then for life. And now after my latests clotted stents and heart attack, I was told to take double the daily max dosage and now for life. Trust only yourself. The Folks that make these stents, Most of The hired guns and so called panelsits at the FDA and many whom still use them are liars and thieves willing to stent you to death. mY HEART ATTACKS WERENT CAUSED BY ANYTHING OTHER THAN THE STENTS THEMSELVES AND GREEDY DOCTORS AND HOSPITALS GETTING PROFITS FROM BOTH KICKBACKS AND UNNECESSARY PROCEDURES. I HAVE PROOF AND DOCUMENTATION OF ALL OF THE ABOVE FACTS. i AM LIVING AND .UNLIKE MAY WHOM THEY HAVE KILLED ,WILL CONTINUE TO HONOR THOSE MURDERS BY THESE WRECKLESS AND GREEDY DOCTORS AND DRUGMAKERS BY TELLING MY STORY TO ALL WHOM WILL LISTEN . tHE FACTS WILL SPEAK FOR THEM SELVES AS WELL AS FOR THOSE WHOM DIED WITHOUT BEING WARNED, IF SOMEONE CARES TO HOLD THEM ( DOCTORS AND DRUGMAKERS )ACCOUNTABLE cOUNT ME iN . i AM NOT AFRAID TO TELL THE TRUTH .UNLIKE THEM MY SOUL ISNT FOR SALE AND ID BE GLAD TO HELP OTHERS STOP THESE ON LABEL AND OFF LABLE PRACTICES

  • DebraApril 2, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    I received a stent that I believe was drug coated.It is now over six years and I'm still doing great. In fact I work out and am accumulating over twenty thousand pounds in a circuit.

"*" 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.

More Top Stories

Onewheel "Nosedive" Lawsuit Filed Days Before Manufacturer Recalled Electric Skateboards (Posted today)

A OneWheel nosedive lawsuit claims the battery-operated scooter is defectively designed, causing riders to suffer serious injuries when the device suddenly stops and pitches forward.

Problems with Philips CPAP Machines Reported 11 Years Before Recall Issued By Manufacturer
Problems with Philips CPAP Machines Reported 11 Years Before Recall Issued By Manufacturer (Posted 4 days ago)

A ProPublica report reveals that Philips officials hid thousands of reports of problems with sound abatement foam used in millions of CPAP machines, failing to recall the devices for more than a decade after receiving the first complaints.