SimpleScience@Heart: New stent safer, more effective at mending brain aneurysms
A new stent — covered with a thin, porous layer of polyurethane — repaired aneurysms in an animal study presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2012.
A brain aneurysm is a weakness in the wall of a brain vessel that balloons out and is at risk of rupturing and bleeding into the brain. Aneurysms are often treated with surgery, stents or spring-like coils placed in the blood vessel to limit blood flow and support the weakened area.
The new stent can be particularly helpful for large aneurysms in the area where the skull and neck meet, researchers said.
In rabbits, the new stent worked in more than 30 aneurysms, with the treated blood vessel intact a year later. In aneurysms treated with stents that didn’t have the coating, about 30 percent still had signs of blood vessel weakness a year later.
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