We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Drug-Eluting Stent?

By Melissa Foltz
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A drug-eluting stent is a tiny mesh tube placed into an artery to hold the structure open after an angioplasty procedure. This tube is coated with a time-release medication that helps to prevent the artery from becoming reblocked by limiting the growth of scar tissue. The stent stays in the artery permanently; it acts to keep the artery open, improve blood flow to the heart muscle and relieve chest pain. The drug-eluting stent can often prevent the need for coronary artery bypass surgery.

Angioplasty is a procedure to restore blood flow through narrow or blocked arteries. The concept of the stent grew out of balloon angioplasty procedures performed in the early 1980s. These procedures were successfully used to open blocked coronary arteries. The artery walls frequently were weakened, however, and occasionally the artery would collapse after the procedure. In addition, the arteries would often close up after surgery, a phenomenon known as restenosis.

The first stents were bare-metal stents, consisting of a metal mesh that is inflated with a high-pressure balloon to ensure that it presses tightly against the arterial walls. Once placed, the stent acts as a scaffolding to prop the artery open. Bare-metal stents, which contain no medication, were more effective than other methods of angioplasty, but problems with artery closure remained. The drug-eluting stent, which releases drugs to prevent restenosis, was then developed and has proven even more effective at preventing death, heart attack or the need for a repeat procedure.

A drug-eluting stent consists of a mesh framework, a polymer coating that holds the drug and releases it into the arterial wall and a drug to inhibit cell growth and suppress inflammation. The mesh scaffolding is usually metal, generally stainless steel or a cobalt chrome alloy coated with gold or platinum, although plastic and fabric are sometimes used. Fabric stents are more commonly known as stent grafts and are used in large arteries. Drugs that are commonly used in drug-eluting stents include sirolimus, paclitaxel and everolimus.

Coronary stent placement carries some risks, including bleeding, allergic reaction and heart attack. Some evidence suggests that drug-eluting stents put patients at risk for the formation of a clot in the stent. Alternative treatment options for heart disease include drug therapies, lifestyle changes and coronary artery bypass surgery.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.