Far North Queensland is a world-leader in the field of cardiac stent research.
Cairns Hospital cardiologists have been working with 80 patients who have had bioresorbable scaffolds inserted into the coronary arteries of their heart after they have had a heart attack.
Cardiologist Dr Anthony Brazzale said “normal” stents stay in the body for life, but the bioresorbable scaffolds were completely absorbed by the body within 12 months.
“They’re great because with the traditional stent, there is a risk the body will reject the device and this can result in unwanted late complications,” Dr Brazzale said.
The team of interventional cardiologists at Cairns Hospital are passionate about the device benefits.
“If I had a heart attack, this is the stent I would want to have. We liken it to when you have a broken bone, you treat the bone with a cast and once the bone heals, the cast is removed. This is the same except the scaffold absorbs naturally through the body over time,” he said.
“We have been the only Queensland site implanting these new devices; one of only five sites in Australia. Cairns Hospital was the highest recruiter in Australia and is actually the fifth highest recruiter in the world.”
“We have now been given the opportunity to continue using the devices as part of a registry whilst the final outcomes of the study are published.”
“Our department is very committed to providing patients of North Queensland with world-leading contemporary cardiac care,” Dr Brazzale said.
Dr Brazzale paid tribute to the whole cardiac research unit, particularly their research coordinator Sue Dixon and said they were thrilled to explain their research at any time, but particularly in February being heart research month.
Cairns Hospital Cardiology Research Coordinator Ms Dixon said the study has follow-up for five years post implant.
“The last patient recruited was in July 2020 therefore the study will close in July 2025,” Ms Dixon said.