The subject matter of the article.
Drug-coated implantation peculiarities.
The research findings.
Possible reasons for such tendency.
The subject matter of the article.
The article “Blood Clot Risk from Stents Seen in African-Americans” by Denise Mann deals with the recent discovery that African-Americans are more subjected to the blood clot development with drug-coated stents in comparison with non-African-American patients.
In spite of the strong evidence that such tendency does exist, scientists cannot define the reason for it, though many of them assume that it may be based on genetics.
Patients with clogged heart arteries should undergo the special procedure, angioplasty, which widens the damaged arteries. Implanting stents, very small mesh cylinders, reduces the risk of arteries renarrowing after such procedure. There are two major types of stents: bare metal stents and drug-coated stents.
The drug-coated stents are more effective than bare metal stents in the majority of cases. However, drug-coated stent implantation may cause the blood clot forming, so-called “stent thrombosis”. To prevent clots forming over the stents, the patients should take anticlotting drugs during a year.
The necessity of such long treatment is determined by the peculiarities of drug-coated stents. They do prevent scar tissues from developing over the stent, but they are usually taken by an organism as foreign objects and, as a result, the body tries to isolate them by forming clots around them. Thus, anticlotting medication plays the essential role in patients’ healing.
The research was based on the data of 7,236 patients who were implanted the drug-coated stents during the period from the middle of 2003 up to the end of 2008. 22% of the patients were African-Americans. The research proved that African-American patients developed blood clots about three times as much as the rest of the patients.
It is necessary to add that the African-American patients developed stent thrombosis even after increased use of anticlotting drugs and the risk was apparent in 30 days after the procedure. Many scientists insist that patients and physicians should know about this tendency.
Of course, researchers admit that it is important to find out the reason for such increased risk since blood clots development often leads to serious health problems, such as heart attacks.
Unfortunately, scientist cannot explain the reasons why African-American patients are at a risk group. Of course, it is not because these patients are sicker. Many scientists suppose that such tendency may be associated with genetic issues. Thus, it is possible that stent thrombosis develops due to the differences in bodies’ reaction to the anticlotting drugs (clopidogrel in particular).
Such assumption is based on the fact that clopidogrel (according to the warrant) may not be effective for those people whose bodies cannot convert this medicine to its active form. Thus, anticlotting medicine fails to prevent clots development and renarrowing.
So, scientists think it is necessary to explore this very field and find the definite reason why anticlotting drugs are not effective for African-American patients. The understanding of the reasons will enable scientist to work out effective treatment for African-Americans, e.g. new anticlotting drugs.
Thus, the article reveals that African-American patients are more subjected to such disease as stent thrombosis which can lead to heart attack and death. However, it is still not clear why this tendency exists. Scientists are likely to assume that the problem lies in genetic differences in reactions to anticlotting medicine and the problem solution can be found in the further researches in this field.
Mann, Denise. “Blood Clot Risk from Stents Seen in African-Americans.” WebMD., 31 Aug. 2010. Web. 20 May 2010.