Preliminary studies conducted by researchers from University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine in Athens found that coating arteries with a new compound lowers the risk of blood clots inside stents.
A stent is a small mesh tube that's used to treat narrow or weak arteries. It is inserted into a natural passage/conduit in the body to prevent, or counteract, a disease-induced, localized flow constriction. Implanting these stents can damage the inner lining of the artery, causing the overgrowth of smooth muscles. This causes the vessel wall to thicken, which re-narrows the passageway. To prevent this, stents are frequently coated with one of several medications that block smooth muscle growth. However, these drugs have a side-effect, they lead to blood clots forming inside the vessel with the stent.
In a new study, researchers observed that a compound called a CTP synthase inhibitor was able to prevent smooth muscle growth and either promoted or didn't interfere with the growth of endothelial cells.
"We hope it may someday provide a long-term fix by supporting repair of the injured endothelium," said Shi-You Chen, Ph.D., senior author of the study and associate professor of physiology in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine in Athens, in a press release. "Most currently available drug-eluting stents also stop the growth of the inner layer of endothelial cells. This delays repair of the stent-injured lining and can trigger inflammation and formation of a blood clot at the injury site, which may severely block coronary blood circulation and damage the heart."
Patients with stents are at the risk of developing blood clots within the first 30 days of the stint being inserted. Stents usually are made of metal mesh, but sometimes they're made of fabric. Fabric stents, also called stent grafts, are used in larger arteries.