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Elkhart General Hospital and foundation initiate clinical trial to help treat coronary artery disease

Posted on July 7, 2014 at 7:31 p.m.

ELKHART — Elkhart General Hospital, in conjunction with Midwest Cardiovascular Research and Education Foundation, was recently selected as the first hospital in the region to begin implanting an investigational bioresorbable vascular scaffold device to help treat coronary artery disease.

The implantation is part of the trial ABSORB III, which will compare both short-term and long-term safety and effectiveness of the ABSORB BVS compared to a traditional drug-coated metal stent.

The scaffold is a small mesh tube designed to open a blocked heart vessel, similar to the current metallic stents used. Abbott Laboratories’ ABSORB BVS, however, is made of a temporary poly-material that will slowly dissolve over time. The treated vessel can then expand and contract naturally after the BVS dissipates.

“This clinical trial could create a paradigm shift in the way cardiologists treat patients with C.A.D.,” said Dr. Donald R. Westerhausen Jr., president of Midwest Cardiovascular Research and Education Foundation and interventional cardiologist at Elkhart General Hospital.

Dr. Westerhausen and his partner, Dr. Troy Weirick, have enrolled multiple patients into the study. For more information visit or