Viagra might be used for more efficient stent implantations

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For long now, Viagra has been helpful to men with erectile dysfunction; recent research suggests that it can reduce a patient’s clotting odds when incorporated into artery-opening stents.

Stents are mesh tubes implanted surgically to strengthen weak blood vessels. In a South Korean research, it was discovered that these implants could fail over time as the artery narrows again due to tissue growth around the mesh tube device. A Recent study has shown that covering these stents with Viagra can help prevent the arteries from closing again.

The research leader and associate professor at Seoul National University Hospital, Dr. Han-Mo Yang said that if likely results are obtained from clinical tests, sildenafil may be the right drug for coating stents or to swallow orally after implanting stents.

A heart specialist in the U.S sees the discovery as a promising one

Dr. Avneet Singh, a cardiologist as the North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset in New York, said that the only challenge of implanting stents remains the risk of closure of stents. He added that the recent study seems to be the long-awaited solution to stent closure, making stent implants an efficient and safer one.

Yang’s research team discovered that the use of Viagra in coating stents reduced the coagulation of blood platelets that form the clot by 30 percent. The drug also accelerated the enzyme activity prevents the thickening of artery walls during an injury in rats. This suggests that it could have the same effect on individuals that have stents.

Results are yet to prove positive in humans

While the test appeared promising in rats, Yang points out that it has not proved efficient in human stressing that some tests that work out in rats prove abortive in human trials.

Yang added that if clinical trial approves that sildenafil is effective in reducing artery re-closure, then it can be put to use immediately as it is already in use for other purposes.
Dr. Carl Reimers, a co-cardiovascular director at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, sees the study as promising but pointed out that the drug was used in the rats’ carotid arteries that run from the heart to the brain. He pointed out the difference saying the human coronary arteries lie very close to the heart. In line with the fact that the test was carried out on rats only, Reimers addressed the result as premature to be used in human treatment.

The findings will be deliberated at American Heart association’s meeting in Portland, Ore. However, all the study results disclosed at medical meetings remains preliminary until they are officially published in a peer-reviewed journal.