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Liefke van der Heijden, a cardiologist in training at Medisch Spectrum Twente, presents findings that new stents are outperforming the previous generation. (Credit: University of Twente)

The newest generation of stents with medication against vasoconstriction are doing well. They are safe and efficient for most patients, in both the short and the long term. They are biocompatible, there is a smaller risk of inflammatory reaction, lower risk of blood vessel constriction, and reduced possibly of new narrowing of the coronary artery. With the further development of stents, the platforms have also become more flexible, which has greatly improved their placement.

Research on the newest generation of show excellent results in terms of safety and effectiveness. The partially biologically soluble stents already show good short-term results. But the safety of the first generation of fully soluble stents is a matter of debate; although the theory is promising and the possible long-term benefits are still unknown, it will only be necessary to study how the results can be improved in the short term.

After a dotter treatment, certain patients have a higher chance of a negative outcome than others: patients who have previously undergone a bypass operation, patients being treated in small vessels, patients with high calcium in the coronary arteries, and patients who have a narrowing at the point where a coronary artery breaks down. It is precisely in these groups that certain properties of stents could provide a better clinical outcome. Given the high risk of blood vessel constriction, it is therefore advisable to focus future research on this patient population. Future stent research may focus on patients with a high risk or with complex lesions.

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