CONTACT: TOM MOORE
Joint Office for Planning, Marketing and Communications
8788 John Pappajohn Pavilion
Iowa City IA 52242
Release: Sept. 4, 2002
UI Heart Care researchers studying advanced treatment for narrowed bypass
University of Iowa Heart Care researchers are studying a new, fabric-covered
stent in the treatment of patients who have developed a narrowing in their
cardiac bypass grafts.
The advanced device, called the Symbiot stent, is covered with a special
fabric that may help prevent the narrowings in the vein grafts that are used
to bypass blockages in the arteries of the heart. A stent is placed in an
artery or vein to help the blood vessel to remain open after a narrowing has
been corrected during a balloon angioplasty procedure.
"A stent is basically an expandable metal tube that looks like a scaffold,
and tissue can grow between the gaps in the scaffold and cause the bypass
graft to become narrow again," explained James Rossen, M.D., a UI associate
professor of internal medicine, a cardiologist and director of the Cardiac
Catheterization Laboratory and Interventional Cardiology at UI Hospitals and
Clinics. "We hope that by covering those gaps with this special fabric
that we can prevent this re-growth of tissue and avoid the development of
The fabric-covered stent may also help reduce the incidence of a common
complication where bits of tissue break off from the repaired part of the
bypass graft and float "downstream" and cause blockages elsewhere
in the heart.
Heart surgeons perform a cardiac bypass graft by identifying the location
of a blockage in cardiac artery, removing a vein from another part of the
body such as the leg, and then attaching the vein to the artery in order to
route the flow around the blockage and restore a more normal blood supply
to the heart. The procedure is very common and effective, but about one-quarter
of such bypasses can become narrowed. Balloon angioplasty is effective is
removing the narrowing, and conventional stents can also achieve good results.
The University of Iowa research team will enroll up to 30 patients with
a narrowing in their bypass grafts into the randomized clinical trial. For
more information, contact Rossen at (319) 356-3413.
University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the
University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and UI
Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research
programs and services they provide. Visit UI Health Care online at www.uihealthcare.com.