Lake Charles Memorial cardiologist makes history

(Source: Lake Charles Memorial Hospital)
(Source: Lake Charles Memorial Hospital)

The following is a news release from Lake Charles Memorial Hospital:

History was made at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital on the morning of Wednesday, March 13. Dr. J. King White, a cardiologist with the Heart & Vascular Center, a part of the Memorial Medical Group became the first doctor in Louisiana to implant the first drug coated peripheral artery stent.

The Zilver PTX Drug-Eluting Peripheral Stent (Zilver PTX Stent) is the first drug-eluting stent approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to re-open the femoropopliteal artery in the thigh, when narrowed or blocked as a result of peripheral artery disease (PAD). The stent is coated on its outer surface with the drug paclitaxel, a drug that helps prevent recurrent narrowing of arteries (restenosis).

"It's the same type of drug used on our coronary artery stents. It prevents the growth of cells and tissue," Dr. White says. "When you put a stent in a heart artery or leg artery it causes some injury because you are stretching the artery. This sets up some scar tissue that can grow through the stent and actually cause restenosis. The drug on this particular stent prevents that."

Dr. White was the principal investigator during a clinical trial for the Zilver PTX Stent. Half of the 440 patients that participated in the trial were chosen at random to receive the Zilver PTX Stent, while the other half received a non-coated stent.

Those who received the Zilver PTX Stent had way fewer re-blockages at yearly evaluations of one, two and three years. Data on the fourth year evaluations has not yet been published. Dr. White is currently completing his five year follow-ups with patients that participated in trial.

"This new stent is going to revolutionize the way we treat peripheral artery disease," Dr. White says. "The previously available non-coated stents for use in the leg re-blocked up to 60 percent of the time. This stent has shown to reduce that significantly. This means fewer repeat procedures, lower healthcare costs to our patents and an improved quality of life."

The FDA approved the Zilver PTX Stent use in November of 2012.