Viagra Might Make for a Safer, More Effective Stent
Stents are tiny mesh tubes surgically inserted to support failing blood vessels. But, as explained by researchers in South Korea, these devices may be less effective as the tissue growth around the metal device narrows the artery again.
But in their new study in rats, the researchers found that stenting with Viagra (sildenafil) may help prevent this closure from happening.
“If similar results are found in clinical trials, sildenafil might be an ideal drug for the coating of stents [drug delivery] or by the mouth after stent implantation,” said the author
Han-Mo Yang said in a news release from the American Heart Association. Yang is an Associate Professor of Cardiology at the National University Hospital in Seoul.
A heart specialist in the United States believes the approach is promising.
“The risk of closing due to stent clot and scars left rescuer of this procedure would otherwise the Achilles heel,” said Dr. Avneet Singh.
Although research is still preliminary, using Viagra in this way “can open the boundaries to make heart stent procedures even safer and more efficient,” said Singh, an interventional cardiologist at the North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, New York. York
In laboratory tests, Yang’s team found that Viagra has been reduced by a 30 percent “clumping” of clotting platelets.
And when used in rats, the drug also increased the activity of the enzymes that prevent the walls of the arteries from becoming thicker in response to the injury – suggesting that it could also have an effect on people having placed a stent, According to the researchers.
“Our study is limited only with animals,” said Yang, and experiments performed on rats are sometimes not part of clinical trials in humans.
However, “if clinical trials show that sildenafil reduces [re-closure of the artery] after stent placement, it could be used in the immediate clinical setting as the drug is already used in the real world for others Purposes, “Yang said.
Singh agrees. “This is another example of” drug repositioning “in which a drug is clinically tested successfully used to a completely different state,” he said.
Dr. Carl Reimers helps direct cardiovascular care at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.
He described the study promising but stressed that the drug was tested in the carotid arteries of rats, which carries the brain to the brain, not coronary arteries closer to the heart. And because it was carried out only in rats, he said that it was “premature to attribute clinical importance [the results] at this time.”
The study will be presented Monday at a meeting of the American Heart Association in Portland, Oregon. Results presented at medical meetings are often considered preliminary until they are published in a peer-reviewed journal.