Vasodilators May Help Prevent Clots, Stenosis with Stents

In animal study, sildenafil showed potential in reducing both restenosis and blood clot formation
In animal study, sildenafil showed potential in reducing both restenosis and blood clot formation

HealthDay News — Sildenafil-coated stents appear to cut a patient's odds for clots, according to an experimental study presented at the American Heart Association's Basic Cardiovascular Sciences 2017 Scientific Sessions, held from July 10 to 13 in Portland, Oregon.

"If similar results are found in clinical trials, sildenafil could be an ideal drug for coating drug-eluting stents or to give orally after stent implantation," lead author Han-Mo Yang, MD, PhD, an associate professor of cardiology at the Seoul National University Hospital in South Korea, said in a news release from the American Heart Association.

In laboratory tests, Yang's team found that sildenafil reduced the clumping of blood platelets by 30%. And when used in rats, the drug also increased the activity of an enzyme (protein kinase G) that prevents restenosis -- suggesting it could also have this effect on patients who've had a stent placed, the researchers said. 

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"Our study is limited by involving only animals," Yang noted. However, "if clinical trials show that sildenafil reduces restenosis after stent placement, it could be used in the clinical setting right away because the drug is already used in the real world for other purposes."

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