HealthDay News – Drug-eluting stents may perform no better for patients over the long-term, in terms of patient survival, than bare metal stents, according to a study published online August 30 in the New England Journal of Medicine. The research was published to coincide with the 2016 European Society of Cardiology Congress, held from August 27 to 31 in Rome.

Kaare Harald Bonaa, MD, PhD, of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, and colleagues tracked 6-year outcomes for 9013 patients. Patients received a stent after recurrent angina or a cardiovascular event such as a myocardial infarction (MI).

Rates of revascularization procedures were low in each group: 16.5% in the drug-eluting stent group vs 19.8% in the bare-metal stent group. Patients who received a drug-eluting stent did have less need for a second revascularization procedure, but not to the level surgeons might have expected, Dr Bonaa said. 

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In fact, “thirty patients would need to be treated with drug-eluting stents rather than with bare-metal stents to prevent one repeat revascularization,” Dr Bonaa told HealthDay. Researchers found no significant difference between drug-eluting or bare-metal stents in either total patient deaths, nonfatal MI, angina, or even patient quality of life.

Overall, “the take home message is that patients treated with drug-eluting stents do not live longer nor better than patients treated with bare-metal stents,” Dr Bonaa said.

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  1. Bates ER. Balancing the evidence base on coronary stents. N Engl J Med. 2016. doi:10.1056/NEJMe1610485, 
  2. Bonaa KH, for the NORSTENT Investigators. FP 5022. NORSTENT—comparison of long-term effects of new generation DES vs contemporary BMS on mortality, morbidity, revascularization, and quality of life. Presented at European Society of Cardiology Congress. August 27-31, 2016; Rome, Italy.
  3. Bonaa KH, Mannsverk J, Wiseth R, et al; for the NORSTENT Investigators. Drug-eluting or bare-metal stents for coronary artery disease. N Engl J Med. 2016. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1607991.