Harvard Heart Letter

Slow rehabilitation of drug-coated stents

New research supports the safety of drug-coated stents, but they aren't for everyone.

It's been a tough time for drug-coated stents. After being hailed as a revolutionary new therapy, these tiny wire cages fell from grace, tarnished by reports that they are responsible for a small number of heart attacks and deaths a year or more after implantation.

The downturn has been tough on the companies that make and sell stents, the doctors who put them in, and sometimes on the people who have one in a coronary artery. But it did force a more careful examination of the risks, not just the benefits, of these widely used medical devices.

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