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Baptist Health Lexington Initiates Clinical Trial to Test Bioresorbable Vascular Scaffold for Treatment of Heart Disease

Baptist Health Lexington recently implanted Absorbâ„¢, an investigational bioresorbable vascular scaffold as part of the ABSORB III clinical trial in the United States.

Absorb, manufactured by the healthcare company Abbott, is a small mesh tube designed to open a blocked heart vessel, restore blood flow to the heart and then dissolve into the blood vessel over time. ABSORB III is the first U.S. clinical trial to evaluate the potential benefits of Absorb in comparison to a medicated metallic heart stent, also called a drug eluting stent, in patients with coronary artery disease. Baptist Health Lexington is the first healthcare facility in the region to enroll patients in the ABSORB III trial. 

Coronary artery disease is a leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. Patients with coronary artery disease can experience symptoms such as chest pain and shortness of breath when the demand for blood to the heart is more than the heart's ability to supply blood due to blockages in the vessels that supply blood to the heart. These blockages are caused by the build-up of fat and cholesterol inside the vessel.

Since the 1970s, physicians have treated patients with coronary artery disease with balloon angioplasty and metallic and drug eluting metallic stents, allowing many patients to avoid open heart surgery. Abbott started development of Absorb about a decade ago and is the first company in the world to begin testing a bioresorbable vascular scaffold in patients in the United States.

Unlike a metallic stent that remains permanently in the body, Absorb is referred to as a scaffold to indicate that it is a temporary structure. Absorb is made of polylactide, a naturally dissolvable material that is commonly used in medical implants such as dissolving sutures. Absorb dissolves except for two pairs of tiny metallic markers, which help guide placement and remain in the artery to enable a physician to see where the device was placed.

The ABSORB III clinical trial will enroll approximately 2,250 patients, the majority in the United States. For information about this clinical trial and other research studies Baptist Health Lexington participates in, please call 859-260-4489.

Signs and Symptoms, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, April 9, 2012.

CAUTION: Investigational device limited by Federal (U.S.) law to investigational use only.

AP2938214-US Rev. A. Absorb is a trademark of the Abbott Group of Companies.