Heparin coated coronary artery stent

Description

Coronary heart disease, which can cause life-threatening reduction in the flow of oxygen-carrying blood to the heart muscle, is the leading cause of death in the United States. Each year this disease causes one out of five deaths. 

The Bx Velocity Coronary Stent with Hepacoat ™ is coated with heparin, a blood-thinning agent used to reduce the risk of clot formation in a coronary stent. There is a small chance that blood clots can develop in a stent during the first few weeks after implantation. Although medications such as aspirin can be effective in preventing these blood clots, the heparin-coated stent has blood-thinning properties that work for several months after implantation. Aspirin and other clot-blocking medications still are recommended with this new stent, but it may reduce the risk of blood clots and be safer for patients who may not be able to take aspirin or other anticoagulants.

Procedures such as balloon angioplasty and coronary artery stenting enable hundreds of thousands of patients to avoid or delay coronary artery bypass procedures during the treatment of this disease. More than one million angioplasties are performed in the U.S. each year, and about 80 percent of those patients also receive a stent.

Procedure

During angioplasty, cardiologists thread a catheter into the narrowed portion of an artery and inflate a small balloon, compressing the fatty build-up against the artery wall and enlarging the channel through which blood flows. Many times they use a stent, a tiny mesh tube crafted from metal that acts as scaffolding inside the artery, to help prop it open. The Bx Velocity Coronary Stent with Hepacoat ™ is coated with heparin, a blood-thinning agent used to reduce the risk of clot formation in the coronary stent.

The UF Health Cardiovascular Center difference

University of Florida interventional cardiologists at the UF Health Cardiovascular Center are the first physicians in north central Florida to offer a FDA-approved drug-coated coronary artery stent. 

This new stent represents an important step forward in Interventional Cardiology, enhancing cardiologists' capability to deliver effective treatment to patients with coronary heart disease. It is also important because it is the first medicated stent available. The development of new stents containing plaque-fighting medications may be significant in the continued fight against heart disease. The Hepacoat ™ surface coating has been tested in clinical trials. Cordis Corporation, a Johnson & Johnson company developed this stent.

Multidisciplinary team 

Karen M. Smith, M.D. 

UF College of Medicine assistant professor of 
Medicine, Division of Cardiology, director of the Gainesville VA Catheterization Cardiac Laboratory 

Karen Smith, M.D., is recognized for her expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease. 

Smith completed her residency in Internal Medicine and a fellowship in Cardiology and Interventional Cardiology at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She has been a UF faculty member with the UF Health Cardiovascular Center since 1998.

Richard A. Kerensky, M.D. 

UF College of Medicine associate professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, director of Interventional Cardiology and the UF Health Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory 

Richard Kerensky, M.D., is recognized for his expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease. His clinical interests include: acute myocardial infarction, cardiac catheterization, coronary angioplasty, intracoronary radiation, directional coronary atherectomy, mitral balloon valvuloplasty, coronary stenting, coronary ultrasound, coronary artery disease in women, renal and peripheral vascular disease. 

Kerensky, a UF Medical School graduate, completed his residency in Internal Medicine and a fellowship in Cardiology at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. He has been a UF faculty member with the UF Health Cardiovascular Center since 1992.