A new stent graft can keep blood vessels open for longer, reducing the number of procedures dialysis patients need, a new study has found.
The device reduces the need for repeated invasive procedures and interruption of dialysis by improving graft function in patients whose access grafts have become narrowed, according to research from the University of Maryland.
The device allows physicians to mimic the effect of surgery at the scarred area without actually performing invasive treatment.
This self-expanding metal stent graft creates a scaffold to keep the blood vessel open and the opened vessel is covered by polytetrafluoroethylene, the same material from which most dialysis grafts are made.
The new stent reduces the need to interrupt dialysis and is a cost-saving procedure with improved quality of life for patients who spend about nine to 12 hours a week in dialysis.
The study took place at 13 sites across the US and enrolled nearly 200 patients, of which 97 patients received angioplasty with the new stent compared to 93 who received angioplasty alone.
The recurrence of vessel narrowing, restenosis, was nearly three times lower with the stent group, (27.6 % vs 77.6 %).
This study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine and was funded by Bard Peripheral Vascular, manufacturer of the Flair Endovascular stent graft.