Use of Reactor-Produced Radioisotopes for Prevention Restenosis After Angioplasty Page: 4 of 14
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Coronary heart disease leads to myocardial infarction and is a major cause of death in the United
States. Myocardial infarctions result from atherosclerotic plaque deposits in the coronary arteries,
reducing blood flow through these arteries which supply oxygen and nutrients to the heart muscle.
The two major approaches for restoring adequate blood flow are "coronary bypass graft surgery"
and "coronary angioplasty". Angioplasty is a routinely used clinical procedure, where a deflated
balloon attached to the end of a long catheter is inserted into an artery in the leg and then
advanced through the aorta into the blocked regions of the coronary arteries. After positioning in
the occluded region of the artery, the balloon is inflated with a pressurized saline solution which
opens the artery restoring blood flow by pressing the atherosclerotic plaque into the vessel wall.
Angioplasty is a widely performed procedure with the coronary arteries and is a much less
expensive alternative to coronary bypass surgery. The best patients for angioplasty are those with
single occlusions and this method is preferred over bypass grafting because of the significantly
reduced expense. The reformation of plaque deposits in arteries (restenosis) following angioplasty,
however, is a major clinical problem encountered in as high as 40 percent of patients. Because
reduction of health care costs is a major national priority, development of effective new preventative
methods for restenoses is an important national priority.
The biological response to such controlled vessel damage after angioplasty is the stimulation of
accelerated growth of the smooth muscle cell layer which lines the artery with the resulting build
up of additional plaque, thus leading to restenosis. A major current area of vascular biology is the
development of methods to inhibit this restenosis after angioplasty. Although a variety of
pharmacological approaches such as the use of corticosteroids, heparin, and other drugs are being
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Knapp, F.F. & Pipes, D.W. Use of Reactor-Produced Radioisotopes for Prevention Restenosis After Angioplasty, report, December 21, 1999; Tennessee. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc724011/m1/4/: accessed June 16, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.