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Stents can be life savers. The following release posted to Eurekalert points to a possible problem with Boston Scientific’s new Ion stent:

Some stents that keep blood vessels open to treat heart disease may be poorly designed to resist shortening, according to publications in the Journal of Interventional Cardiology. A case report published in the journal by Dr. Cindy Grines, of the Detroit Medical Center Cardiovascular Institute, and her colleagues describes a patient who experienced a heart attack after the recently marketed Ion stent (Boston Scientific, Natick, MA) in his artery shortened and accordioned. The articles indicate that some stents are susceptible to becoming deformed, which could result in adverse clinical consequences.

Coronary stents, which are scaffolds placed within arteries that supply blood to the heart, are lifesavers for many patients with heart disease and other conditions. By using new materials and developing advanced designs, manufacturers have been working to continually improve the performance of stents to prevent blood vessels from becoming blocked.

Recently, though, researchers and clinicians have identified stent shortening as a newly observed deformity in cases using a particular family of stents. This shortening usually occurred when the clinician attempted to complete the procedure with the typical catheters and balloons used after a stent is implanted. Stent shortening and deformity can cause serious complications for patients; in this case the stent clotted off and the patient had a heart attack.

In an accompanying editorial, Dr. Grines notes that the results are "disturbing" and that because clinicians, researchers, and regulators are rapidly investigating the issue, hopefully there will soon be new recommendations regarding the use of this particular design of stents.


  1. Gravatar for Pete N.
    Pete N.

    Trolling for business, Pierce? The stent referred to in your blog is like so many others and the chance of problems occurring is extremely small. You didn't even do your homework and list the other stents nor did you pull the comments from other Cardiologists who are debunking this study in J.I.C. You make me sick!

  2. Gravatar for Pierce Egerton
    Pierce Egerton

    Hi Peter. As always I welcome all comments positive or otherwise. As noted above, the source is the Eurekalert release which is, in turn, from the Wiley release. I invite you to list the other stents in this space and/or include comments from the cardiologists you mention.

    Moreover, if you would like to rebut the JIC article in greater length on this site as a guest blogger I would be happy to arrange that.

    Although you did not mention it, in the interest of full disclosure for the readers, I should also point out that judging by your email address you are Peter M. Nicholas, co-founder of Boston Scientific, the maker of the Ion stent.

  3. Gravatar for Peter F
    Peter F

    WelI I certainly was not happy to see this article since I just had a latest version ION™ Paclitaxel-Eluting Platinum Chromium Coronary Stent installed in my heart. Sure would like to know how this investigation turns out. I had atrial flutter and got ablation along with the ION stent. Keep me posted. Thanks

  4. Gravatar for Kent K
    Kent K

    I recently had my fifth stent placed and it was an Ion. I am in my forties , very healthy , a runner, just very bad family history n both sides. It was placed with in a previous stent in teh diagonal , and was part of a "kissing technique" within the LAD. I am having constant chest "stinging" from my new stent. Even sypmtoms similar to the original angina. Is there any studies showing rejection of the eluting drug or adverse clinical evidence other than the shortneing. I had a cath done four weeks post op and still had patent vessels. The 24- 7 chest pain is getting a bit old.

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