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Stents Stumble

Enthusiasm wanes for drug-coated artery tubes

12:47pm, June 19, 2007

At a cardiology meeting in Stockholm 6 years ago, attendees witnessed what seemed to be the birth of a new era in treating heart disease. In the first large study of drug-coated stents—tiny mesh tubes that prop open clogged arteries—all the implanted arteries stayed open. The data were so stunning that after French researcher Marie-Claude Morice presented the study results, audience members stood and applauded.

"I remember it well," says Robert Harrington of Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C. "You don't see people get a standing ovation at a scientific meeting. There was this tremendous hope that we had

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