19 August 2014
A new therapy has been developed by a team of researchers at the University of South Florida (USF) Morsani College of Medicine and Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) that could help reduce the risk of life-threatening complications after undergoing interventional cardiovascular disease treatment.
Published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, the study found that the novel molecular therapy could selectively stop blood vessels from re-narrowing after an angioplasty, while also encouraging vessels to heal.
The procedure is the world's most common medical procedure and involves a balloon catheter being inserted into narrowed or blocked arteries to bring blood flow back to a healthy level and clear any blockages. In around 70 to 90 per cent of cases, a stent must be placed inside the artery to prevent re-narrowing once the balloon is removed. However, this can put the patient at risk of dangerous complications including the formation of blood clots years or months after the procedure.
Using microRNAs, which can control a number of biological processes including cell proliferation, the researchers developed a more selective therapy that is able to stop re-narrowing and encouraged endothelial cells to regrow and heal the vessel.
Posted by Philip Briggs
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