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Resorbable plastic coronary stent is ready for prime time

The potential availability of resorbable plastic coronary stents in the United States is taking a giant step forward. Abbott announced it will enroll approximately 2250 patients in a clinical trial to compare the performance of the Absorb Bioresorbable Vascular Scaffold (BVS) device to another drug eluting stent system made of metal. The polymer drug eluting stent is already available for patient use in Europe and parts of Latin America and Asia.

Absorb is made of polylactide and works by opening a clogged vessel and restoring blood flow to the heart. It then dissolves into the blood vessel. Abbott said that preliminary evidence of natural vessel function suggests that treatment with an Absorb BVS could provide important clinical benefits.

"With the introduction of balloon angioplasty in the 1970s, cardiologists wanted to open a blocked vessel without leaving anything behind. Absorb represents the latest innovation that may help us reach this goal, which could result in important long-term benefits related to the restoration of natural vessel function," said Stephen Ellis, M.D., section head of Interventional Cardiology at the Cleveland Clinic and co-primary investigator of the ABSORB III trial. "The data collected on Absorb from the ABSORB III trial could have the potential to drive significant changes in how cardiologists treat patients with coronary artery disease."

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