New device can unblock arteries

In a landmark improvement over the existing treatment for blockage of arteries in heart, doctors have come up with a drug-eluting device.

The balloon like device will transmit the needed drug in a patient’s blood vessels and will be taken out leaving no foreign body in him.

“In drug-eluting device angioplasty, a balloon like device coated with a drug developed with matrix technology is kept inflated at the fatty deposits in artery for up to 45 seconds.
In this time, like in an osmosis effect, the drug is absorbed in the vessel wall,” said Dr V K Bahl, head, department of cardiology, AIIMS.

Called  SeQplasty, this angioplasty can be used to replace drug-eluting stents in a cost-effective manner.  The cost of device for SeQplasty is approximately Rs 85,000 while the cost of drug-eluting stents starts at Rs 1.75 lakh. SeQplasty is particularly useful in cases of recurrence of blockage in arteries.

“This treatment is specially useful in cases of blockage among patients who already have a stent in their heart.

Instead of putting yet another stent to deliver drug, SeQplasty can be applied,” said Dr Upendra Kaul, dean, cardiology, Fortis Escorts Hospital.

Reduces side effect
As the medicine can be delivered without leaving a foreign body in the patient, it reduces the side effects of drug-eluting stents to a great extent.

“The conventional balloon angioplasty leaves a polymer behind even after the balloon is removed. To mitigate its effects, patients have to take blood thinning medicine for a year to avoid clotting of blood. If the patients have problems other than that of the heart and go for their treatments, then it creates complications,” said Dr Martin Unverdorben, professor, University of Frankfurt, Germany.

In a study called INDICOR by interventional cardiologists from various parts of the world, it was found that the outcome of cardiac treatment through previous method and the new device was same.

“The new method, in addition, is free from side effects,” said Dr Kaul.

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