News Headlines Article

Dissolving heart stent may be as good as the old kind — but it’s unclear if it’s any better
The Washington Post

The results of a closely-watched trial involving an experimental heart stent made by Abbott Labs that dissolves in your body over time are out, and the findings contain both good news and bad news for the company.

Abbott, which has invested 15 years of research and testing in the technology, has been aiming for a blockbuster product that would dominate the estimated $3.82 billion global market for the devices. The old stents — tiny metal coils that prop open arteries — have been very effective at restoring blood flow to the heart, but in the longer term they sometimes lead to a rare but very serious complication of clotting. Absorb, a new biodegradable stent that is broken down by the water in your body, was designed to be a superior product that minimized that danger.

The main conclusion of the large study involving 1,322 patients and published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Monday, is very positive, showing that the new stent did about as well as the old kind in preventing deaths and heart attacks.