The coronary stent: current requirements and future needs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), is the result of atherosclerosis, an age-related cardiovascular disorder in which fatty materials such as cholesterol builds up in the arterial wall. This eventually causes a blockage of the coronary artery that supplies blood to the heart causing angina or myocardial infarction (commonly known as a heart attack). As such, CAD is the leading cause of mortality in developed nations and accounts for over 100,000 deaths annually in the UK alone. Alongside medical therapy, coronary intervention in the form of a coronary stent implant in conjunction with balloon angioplasty, has become a less invasive and highly effective treatment for CAD.

The processes giving rise to CAD, leading to a heart attack, are illustrated. The first line treatment of CAD is drug therapy, which has four main aims: to reduce thrombus formation by reducing platelet activity; to dilates the blood vessel in order to increase blood flow; to reduce the risk factors by lowering cholesterol in the blood; and finally, to minimise damage to the heart and to make it more tolerant to the reduced blood supply.

Should the drug therapy be insufficient to manage the condition, coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) and percutaneous (i.e. through the skin) coronary intervention (PCI) are the next choices of treatments. CABG is a form of open heart surgery in which a segment of blood vessel from another part of the body is used as a graft to bypass the blocked coronary artery and re-route the blood flow, thereby restoring oxygen supply to the heart.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-25
Number of pages2
JournalAILU: The Laser User Magazine
Issue numberSpring 2010
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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