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Stent

A stent is a tiny tube placed into an artery, blood vessel, or other hollow structure (such as one that carries urine) to hold it open.

Description

When a stent is placed into the body, the procedure is called stenting. There are different kinds of stents. Most are made of a metal or plastic mesh-like material. However, stent grafts are made of fabric. They are used in larger arteries.

  • An intraluminal coronary artery stent is a small metal mesh tube that expands in the artery. It is placed inside a coronary artery after balloon angioplasty to prevent the artery closing again.
  • A drug-eluting stent is a stent that is coated with a medicine that helps prevent the arteries from re-closing. Like other coronary artery stents, it is left in place in the artery.

Why the Procedure is Performed

Most of the time, stents are used to treat conditions that are due to narrow or blocked arteries. Stents are commonly used to treat the following conditions:

Other reasons to use stents include:

Alternative Names

Drug-eluting stents; Urinary or ureteral stents; Coronary stents

References

Teirstein PS, Lytle BW. Interventional and surgicaltreatment of coronary artery disease. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 74.

White CJ. Atherosclerotic peripheral arterial disease. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 79.

Zeidel ML. Obstructive uropathy. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI,eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 125.

Update Date: 4/8/2013

Updated by: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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