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BVS: A potential game-changing technology for heart disease

In the United States, heart disease accounts for one of every six deaths that occur.1 Each year, about 758,000 Americans have their first heart attack, and another 470,000 who have already experienced one or more heart attacks will have another.1

Researchers at Scottsdale Healthcare are investigating the use of a dissolvable stent to treat patients with symptoms of coronary artery disease (CAD), which is the most common type of heart disease, with symptoms such as chest pain and shortness of breath due to blockages in the vessels that supply blood to the heart caused by buildup of fat and cholesterol.

The dissolvable stent, the Absorb Bioresorbable Vascular Scaffold (BVS), is a small mesh tube made of polylactide, commonly used in medical devices. The BVS is coated with a medication that reduces inflammation and tissue growth, helping to restore blood flow and provides support to the vessel until the artery can stay open on its own. As with dissolvable sutures, the Absorb BVS dissolves over time, allowing the artery to resume normal function.

The clinical trial, ABSORB III, which is enrolling 2,250 patients at Scottsdale Healthcare, is evaluating the potential benefits of BVS in comparison to the leading metallic drug-eluting stent being used in patients with CAD.

Interventional cardiologist David Rizik, MD, Scottsdale Healthcare, is the first physician in the western U.S. to successfully implant the investigational device into a heart patient as part of this new clinical trial. The Absorb BVS is currently available in Europe, the Middle East, parts of Latin America, and parts of Asia.

"The bioresorbable scaffold represents a potential game changing technology for our patients with coronary artery disease," said Dr. Rizik. "The idea of moving away from permanent metal implants to literally disappearing implants is a quantum leap forward for our heart patients at Scottsdale Healthcare. The cardiology team of physicians, nursing staff and clinicians are extremely pleased to participate in the trial of this latest advancement to our community."

1. Signs and Symptoms, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, April 9, 2012.