Extending the Effective Lifetime of Stents, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Study

Published: Oct 07, 2011

Atherosclerosis is a major contributor to worldwide mortality and is characterized by narrowing of the arteries due to a thickening of the vessel wall. This restricts blood supply to the tissues and can lead to heart attack or stroke. In many cases, implantation of a stent can successfully be used for revascularization of the obstructed or stenosed arteries to improve blood flow. However, when a regrowth of cells occurs in the inner vessel wall (the intima) or healing of the endothelial cell lining in the vessel lumen is incomplete, the result can be a restenosis, i.e. recurrent arterial obstruction and restriction of blood flow. A research team led by LMU’s Professor Christian Weber has now shown that a specific cell type called neutrophils, and molecules that they secrete, inhibit this life-threatening complication – which is observed in up to one-third of all stent implantations.

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