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If you have recently had a stent placed in an artery, there is a very small chance that you could develop an allergic reaction after the procedure. There is still much that is not known about why a tiny percentage of patients have an allergic reaction to stents while the majority do not. Some post-procedure allergic reactions can be accounted for by allergies not to the stent itself but to the antiplatelet medications that patients are given after surgery to discourage the formation of blood clots. Other patients may have an allergic reaction from the contrast that is injected into arteries to help interventional cardiologists see an image of the narrowed vessel before the procedure.
These causes aside, some patients do still seem to have a reaction to the stent itself. Early theories suggested that patients were reacting to nickel in the stainless steel used to make the stent. Research has unearthed little evidence to support this theory. Other possible causes are allergic reactions to polymers used to coat drug-coated (drug-eluting) stents and the drugs themselves.
Allergic reactions to stents can range from mild to, very rarely, fatal. If you are a stent patient, you should seek treatment immediately if you develop a rash, breathing difficulties, hives, itching, bruising, joint pain or swelling, muscle pain, fevers or any other symptoms of an allergic reaction.
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