Shown on the photograph to the right is an autopsy specimen from a patient who died of stent thrombosis.
Stent thrombosis occurs when a blood clot forms within the stent itself, resulting in closure of the artery. This event often leads to a heart attack (myocardial infarction) and may result in death. Patients are usually prescribed dual antiplatelet therapy (aspirin and plavix) to prevent stent thrombosis, which can happen several years after implantation.
The photo to the left of the green ruler shows the surface of the heart with the artery opened up to demonstrate the location of the stent. The thrombus, or blood clot, had been removed by the pathologist and is shown at higher magnification to the right of the ruler.