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RWJBarnabas Health cardiologist on forefront of stent for peripheral arterial disease

RWJBarnabas Health announced the introduction of the Eluvia drug-Eluting Vascular Stent System, specifically developed for the treatment of peripheral arterial disease (PAD). The Eluvia Stent utilizes a drug-polymer combination to offer sustained release of the drug Paclitaxel for a one-year timeframe, designed to prevent tissue regrowth that might otherwise block the stented artery.

PAD is generally associated with blocked arteries of the legs. The blockage most often is the result of a chronic buildup of hard fatty material – atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries – in the inside lining of the arterial wall of the legs. This ultimately narrows and blocks the flow of blood which carries oxygen and nutrients to the limb, causing pain, swelling and an overall diminished quality of life. If blood flow is not restored and maintained, severe cases of PAD can lead to pain, ulcers and even amputation of the affected limb.

In November, Dr. Ramzan M. Zakir, interventional cardiologist at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, an RWJBarnabas Health facility and an RWJ Physician Enterprise provider with RWJPE Heart & Vascular Institute of Central NJ, became one of the first cardiologists in New Jersey to use the life-changing Eluvia Stent. Dr. Zakir had an 83-year-old patient whose leg pain had gotten so severe, that she could no longer walk. The patient had 100 percent blockage and was even beginning to feel pain in her legs when sitting down. The day after Dr. Zakir placed the Eluvia Stent, the patient could walk again without any pain.

The technology for the Eluvia Stent mimics the technology used on stents in the coronary arteries where the anti-clotting drug, Paclitaxel, is put on the stent and a polymer is used to elute, or slowly release the drug over time. With other stents, anti-clotting drugs are simply placed on the stent, but with the Eluvia Stent, the polymer allows the Paclitaxel to stay in the system much longer. In fact, studies found that with the polymer on the Eluvia Stent, even after 12 months there was still a release of the drug, forgoing the need for repeated intervention.

Approximately 8.5 million people in the United States are affected by PAD. Patients who have blockages in femoral and popliteal arteries are candidates for the Eluvia Stent.

For more information about the vascular services offered by RWJBarnabas Health or to make an appointment with one of New Jersey’s top cardiologists, visit rwjbh.org/heart or call 732-235-7816.

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