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RWJBarnabas Health Cardiologist at Forefront in Usage of Eluvia Stent for Treatment of Peripheral Arterial Disease in New Jersey

New Brunswick, NJ, January 9, 2019 – RWJBarnabas Health announces the introduction of the Eluvia drug-Eluting Vascular Stent System, specifically developed for the treatment of peripheral arterial disease (PAD). The Eluvia Stent utilizes a drug-polymer combination to offer sustained release of the drug Paclitaxel for a one-year timeframe, designed to prevent tissue regrowth that might otherwise block the stented artery.

PAD is generally associated with blocked arteries of the legs. The blockage most often is the result of a chronic buildup of hard fatty material – atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries – in the inside lining of the arterial wall of the legs. This ultimately narrows and blocks the flow of blood which carries oxygen and nutrients to the limb, causing pain, swelling and an overall diminished quality of life. If blood flow is not restored and maintained, severe cases of PAD can lead to pain, ulcers and even amputation of the affected limb.

In November, Ramzan M. Zakir, MD, Interventional Cardiologist at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, an RWJBarnabas Health facility and an RWJ Physician Enterprise provider with RWJPE Heart & Vascular Institute of Central NJ, became one of the first cardiologist in New Jersey to use the life-changing Eluvia Stent. Dr. Zakir had an 83-year-old patient whose leg pain had gotten so severe, that she could no longer walk. The patient had 100% blockage and was even beginning to feel pain in her legs when sitting down. The day after Dr. Zakir placed the Eluvia Stent, the patient could walk again without any pain. For Dr. Zakir, it’s about improving the quality of care and quality of life for patients.

“We’re focused on finding a more definitive treatment so that patients do not have to come back for repeat procedures,” said Dr. Zakir. “With the Eluvia Stent we’re improving quality of life in more ways than one. First and foremost, patients can walk again without pain, but beyond that your life is not centered around having to come back in all the time following a restenosis.”

The technology for the Eluvia Stent mimics the technology used on stents in the coronary arteries where the anti-clotting drug, Paclitaxel, is put on the stent and a polymer is used to elute, or slowly release the drug over time. With other stents, anti-clotting drugs are simply placed on the stent, but with the Eluvia Stent, the polymer allows the Paclitaxel to stay in the system much longer. In fact, studies found that with the polymer on the Eluvia Stent, even after 12 months there was still a release of the drug, forgoing the need for repeated intervention.

“We used to use a bare metal stent and it really created a revolving doorway,” said Dr. Zakir. “While we can get nice acute results with these stents, the blockage comes back within a year or so and then patients had to come back for further treatment. With the Eluvia Stent, some data shows that three years following the Eluvia Stent placed, the freedom from having a reintervention was in the 85th percentile. We have never seen data like this for patients with peripheral arterial disease. We have not seen this high of patency rate or rate of unobstructed blood flow for any other treatment modality for this condition.”

Approximately 8.5 million people in the United States are affected by PAD. Patients who have blockages in femoral and popliteal arteries are candidates for the Eluvia Stent. For more information about the vascular services offered by RWJBarnabas Health or to make an appointment with one of New Jersey’s top cardiologists, visit or call (732) 235-7816.

RWJBarnabas Health is the largest, most comprehensive health care system in New Jersey, with a service area covering nine counties with five million people. The system includes eleven acute care hospitals – Clara Maass Medical Center in Belleville, Community Medical Center in Toms River, Jersey City Medical Center in Jersey City, Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus in Lakewood, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, RWJUH New Brunswick, RWJUH Somerset in Somerville, RWJUH Hamilton, RWJUH Rahway and Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston; three acute care children’s hospitals and a leading pediatric rehabilitation hospital (Children’s Specialized Hospital) with its multiple outpatient centers, a freestanding 100-bed behavioral health center, two trauma centers, a satellite emergency department, ambulatory care centers, geriatric centers, the state’s largest behavioral health network, comprehensive home care and hospice programs, fitness and wellness centers, retail pharmacy services, a medical group, multi-site imaging centers and two accountable care organizations. RWJBarnabas Health is New Jersey’s largest private employer – with more than 33,000 employees, 9,000 physicians and 1,000 residents and interns.

RWJBarnabas Health recently announced a partnership with Rutgers University to create New Jersey’s largest academic health care system. The collaboration will align RWJBarnabas Health with Rutgers’ education, research and clinical activities, including those at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care. The alliance will result in a multi-specialty group that will be one of the largest medical groups in the country.