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Lenox Hill Hospital is First in the Country to Implant Newly Approved Drug-Eluting Stent

April 24, 2003

Lenox Hill Hospital Interventional Cardiologist Martin B. Leon, MD, today implanted the first FDA-approved drug-eluting stent, called CYPHER, in a 65 year-old patient with a history of diabetes just hours after the FDA announced marketing approval. CYPHER, approved for the treatment of previously untreated coronary artery lesions, was developed to address the problem of in-stent restenosis, or reblockage, which occurs in as many as 15-30% of patients who receive a bare metal stent. The stent is coated with the drug sirolimus, which is slowly released into the vessel lining, to prevent scar tissue growth through the openings in the stent mesh, which frequently leads to restenosis.

"Drug eluting stents represent a revolutionary breakthrough that will help to ensure the sustained benefit of angioplasty in patients with coronary artery obstructions," said Dr. Leon. "It is a privilege to be in a position to offer this advanced new therapy to our patients at Lenox Hill Hospital."

Dr. Leon, CEO of the Cardiovascular Research Foundation, Lenox Hill Heart and Vascular Institute's research arm, and Jeffrey W. Moses, MD, Chief of Interventional Cardiology at Lenox Hill Hospital were the lead investigators in the nationwide study testing the effectiveness of this new stent. Their results, along with other large-scale studies involving nearly 1,400 patients worldwide, show that the CYPHER stent reduces the incidence of restenosis by more than 90% over a bare metal stent.

Members of the press seeking information about Lenox Hill Hospital should call the Public Relations Department at (212) 434-2400.