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Metal (Nickel) Allergies to Stents

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Most stents, both bare metal and drug-eluting (drug-coated), are fashioned with a metal alloy, either stainless steel or cobalt-chromium, but all contain nickel -- a metal that a certain percentage of the population is allergic to. Whether or not the small amount of nickel can cause significant reactions has not been widely studied.

Do you have questions about or experiences with a metal allergy? Read the comments to learn how patients in similar situations are finding treatment solutions, and support the community by sharing your story.

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Current Postings on This Page (106):

• Had Promus DES put in LAD a year ago, I am now breathless, L am goes numb, ache across muscles in back. Generally worse than when I was waiting for the stent to be put in. I have a proven nickel allergy & as of Oct. 2012 the stent is 75% blocked. Dr. at Papworth dismisses it. It would be a different story if it was them!! Where do we go from here as the stent can not come out. Seems like they want to brush it under the carpet or hope that we go away !!
Carol UK, Ipswich, Suffolk, England, April 11, 2013

• I find all these symptoms you guys are having remarkably similar to what my friends that have Essure are experiencing. Essure was made after the same materials that Heart Stents were made of. It is no surprise that myself and my friends that have Essure are having the exact same problems all of you are having and yet nobody seems to believe us.
EssureSimilarity, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA, March 12, 2013

• SB in Michigan -- You're not losing your mind because if you read through this topic and the related one on "Plavix, Effient, Aspirin and Stents" you will read a number of posts similar to yours. What type of stents do you have (make/model). As to a nickel allergy having no bearing on the situation, yes, there have been conclusive studies that metal allergies cause problems for stent patients. But, as we have in the past, we'd call your attention to the fact that the FDA-mandated package insert for every stent warns that their use is contra-indicated in patients who are allergic to any of the device's components, and specifically to nickel or surgical stainless steel 316L. We suggest that patients report these adverse reactions to the FDA.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, Feb 1, 2013

• Dear Forum -- I have 4 stents in after single bypass and ever since I have had this rash that started out in my upper legs then go away and come back in different areas then go away again only to return. To this day I still have small lesions that are not healing. A second complaint is that I am majorly tired and fatigued to the point I will not drive alone on long trips. I have brought this up days before my surgery and the surgeon reassured me that being allergic to nickel had no bearing on having the stents implanted. I have stopped medications, taken them at different times and nothing has relieved my chest pains, rash or on going fear that I might be losing my mind.
SB, Prudenville, Michigan, USA, January 8, 2013

• Since my last post I have become sicker, weaker, shakier. My cardiac doc avoided me for 7 months. I insisted on an appt. told him I had chest pain, left arm pain, irregular heartbeat, short of breath, along with my burning burning back, neck, head. He said get your cholesterol checked and come back in 6 months. He now knows I am allergic to my stents, but he is hoping I die soon. I called a new doc, now if I live long enough to see him in 3 weeks, maybe he can help me. I still think there should be a class action suit against the Lab and the doctors.
Betty Boop, Cary, North Carolina, USA, September 3, 2012

• In 2008 I had a triply by-pass with stainless steel wire used to close my sternum. Since day one I have had extreme pressure in my chest, pain and have now developed all over body aches diagnosed as Fibromyalgia. I believe I'm allergic to the stainless steel wires and my body aches and pain (fibromyalgia) is as a result of this allergy. It is having a severe impact on my quality of life with little ability to function. No one believes me about the severity of the pain or that the wires can cause severe allergic reactions. My surgeon has agreed to remove the wires however doesn't believe it will help. I was hesitant to have the wires removed as it's an elective surgery however having read the other comments, I feel I'm making the right decision to have the wire removal surgery. Not happy to hear of others pain however glad to have found this forum and find out this pain isn't all in my head and I'm not alone. I would love to hear from others who have had a similar experience.
Gussie, Canada, August 30, 2012

• I am a 50 year old female who had a 99% blockage and stent placement on July 6, 2012. Since the procedure, I have still had the same pain in my face that I had with the heart attach, but recently I have began to have chest pain even worse than the chest pain with the heart attack. It wakes me up at night and responds to nitro. The other symptom is numbness, burning and tingling in my hands, arms, legs and tonight my face. My cardiac rehab therapist suggested I consider that I may be allergic to my stent; she advised this is rare, but that it can happen. I am going to follow up to see if this could be my issue. I am also experiencing upset stomach and other gastro-issues that I did not have before the stent placement. As a teenager, I had to let my pierced ears close; the doctor then advised I was allergic to nickel. I was not asked whether or not I have a metal allergy before my stent was placed, though the doctor visited me the night before the procedure to discuss everything.
CindyS, Madisonville, Kentucky, USA, August 20, 2012

• My father had 2 stents put in and was not feeling well after the procedure, he went back to the doctor and they decided to go back in for another procedure. This time he had 3 more stents put in. He is now feeling worse than he did before any of the stents were put in. He is becoming more tired and short of breath. His face appears to be red around his check area almost as though he is having an allergic reaction. I am really concerned that he is allergic to the metal stents. We have a family history of metal allergies. I required pins in my finger after a break. My finger became extremely swollen and red and eventually pushed the pins up through my skin. The doctor went in and completely removed the pins. I am shocked that doctors are not asking patients on a consistent basis if they have metal allergies before using stents. I am also very angry to find out that the stents come with a warning not to be used in patients with nickel allergies. Why isn't this a requirement? If even one person with metal allergies show that they might be allergic to the stents, it should be standard procedure to ask if the patient has a history of metal allergies.
Sara, Beaver, Pennsylvania, USA, US, July 24, 2012

• Crazy in New York -- Hope you find some answers from the allergist. Just as a point of fact, the poster below is talking about surgical titanium bone implants that are significantly greater in mass than a stent, which is very small. And although some people are allergic to metal implants, the stent has such a small mass of metal that it confounds many researchers as to how this can cause an allergic reaction. Yet a number of patients in this Forum are reporting just such reactions.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, June 29, 2012

• Hi there everyone. I am a 36 year old female,always in pretty good health. I was in a bad car accident in 2011 and had c-4 through c-6 replaced with titanium plates and cages made by Zimmer. I own my own hair salon do I only took 2 weeks off post op and went back a few hrs a day. after the first three months I was in more pain than before the surgery,and that's being on narcotic pain meds. I have gone to PT for 7 months post op,spent thousands on Acupuncture,and Tai Chi started doing some blogging to see if anyone else had these issues and I am overwhelmed .when I see my neurosurgeon it's like talking to a brick wall .he looks at the MRI and days it looks fine. I wish he could hop in my body for 2 minutes. I was in a second accident in February where I was tears fed at a stop sign by a texted doing 50 miles an he.severe whiplash,but in the last few months I have been getting boils,and acne that will not go away .I asked the surgeon. About allergies and the Zimmer rep was there there the next titanium disc is made up of 10 different metals including nickel,iron and carbon. he told me to go see an allergist. thank the Lord I went today. I am bring tested for metal allergies tomorrow.
Crazy for color, New York, USA, June 27, 2012

• To start with when you refer to (stents) are they also known as liga clips ? if so i had about 10 liga clips inserted under my arm in the breast area after surgery for breast cancer, and i have had constant pain (sometimes flaring up worse than ever) only in this area ever since the surgery six years ago do you think that the pain could be caused by the nickel content in the clips,I have had a severe allergy to nickel for many years when coming into contact with cheap jewelry my skin would itch, blister and bleed.
chequers123, Patient, Yorkshire, England, UK, June 25, 2012

• I've recently had a stent implanted due to a 99% blockage in my right coronary artery, after a couple of weeks i started suffering with some very severe symptoms, which included arthralgia, severe skin rashes, esophagitis, and chest pain, thinking it was the the medication i was on, Ramipril, clopidogrel, bisodol fumerate,isosorbide mononitrate and aspirin, my gp took me off them all except the aspirin. three weeks later i am still suffering chest pain, esophagitis and skin rashes, I've since learnt that all stents have nickel in them, I'm highly allergic to nickel. what are the chances of me being allergic to my stent?
lynnielou, Cheshire, England, UK, June 20, 2012

• My husband had a heart stent in 2009 and again in 2011. After receiving the stent implants he started breaking out with skin lesions all over his body but mostly on his face, legs and arms. His doctor said it may be an allergic reaction to the stent or medicine in it but the cardiologist says no of course. He has seen a Dermatologist who had no answers as all test came back negative. These symptoms can last for a few days or a few months with the sores spreading to new locations. He had high blood pressure but now has low b/p and passes out. He also has chest pain daily and takes nitro for angina. Has anyone heard of allergies from stent implants causing skin lesions?
CBF, De Queen, Arkansas, USA, June 2, 2012

• Two years ago I had a titanium plate put in my neck because of disks, It is in front of my neck next to my throat. Since then I have sudden onset hypertension, after having low blood pressure all my life. A cardiologist told me that I would never have HBP but less than six months after surgery, I was on HBP meds. Has anyone else had problems with blood pressure after a titanium implant?
Jean, Niceville, Florida , USA, May 8, 2012

• To K in Wisconsin: Have you been to an allergist yet? My cardiologists told me: "it can't be allergies, everybody has the same metals in hip and knee replacements" But they are wrong. A simple skin test proved I am allergic to the chromium, and I will have those 2 stents as long as I live. And to MO in New York - God Bless your doctor!
Betty Boop, Sr., Cary, North Carolina, USA, May 2, 2012

• To all posters -- the current issue of Circulation Cardiovascular Interventions contains a study done by researchers at the Mayo Clinic, titled, "Outcomes After Coronary Stent Implantation in Patients With Metal Allergy". We spoke today with the lead author, Dr. Rajiv Gulati, about this study and an article containing extended comments from Dr. Gulati will be appearing on Angioplasty.Org shortly. We'll note that here. Stay tuned....

And to Angela from Hemet, California -- if your grandmother is having a serious and acute adverse reaction, it may be due to something else. We would suggest calling her cardiologist and discussing the issues.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, April 25, 2012

• I had a stent put in April 2010 and ever since than I have had irritation inside my mouth and down my throat also burning and choking feeling in my throat and chest and a feeling of heaviness on my chest I am allergic to cobalt and nickel I am wondering if I am allergic to the stent suggested that to my cardio Dr. He says never heard of anyone being allergic to stent not very satisfied will be seeking another opinion Interested to know if anyone else has these symptoms after receiving a stent? (cross-posted from "Allergic Reactions After Drug-Eluting Stent")
K in Wisconsin, Cuba City, Wisconsin, USA, April 21, 2012

• please how do you confirm that you're allergic to the stents [metal] my grandma is real bad and I knew something was not right. does anyone know if or when this can be fatal and will it eventually get better on its own? her flu feelings are really taking a toll she went from a mom of 9 kids and helped raise mine and I'm a grand kid she is a strong Pentecostal woman, but sometimes god has other ways of answering prayers and I think finding this website was my answer. any input is welcome
Angela, grandkid, Hemet, California, USA, April 18, 2012

• Had stent placed in SVC in 2009. No problems. But had Cushing's so I was immunosuppressed. Noted increased swelling at base of neck on right and discomfort in SVC area during the next year. This increased to strong pressure in ears and neck. As cortisol came down post-Cushing's neck swelling and pressure in head and ears and throat and facial redness has increased. It looks and feels like the severe insect sting reactions that I have had in past. Have always been highly sensitive to Ni. Could this be caused by stent? How to test and what to do? (cross-posted from "Allergic Reactions After Drug-Eluting Stent")
H, Huntington, New York, USA, April 18, 2012

• Very informative article, many of us facing such allergies, you've highlighted the issue in depth. thanks for sharing.
PTCA, Impreglon Coatings (, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, March 7, 2012

• Linda from Missouri -- although your post is not about stents, per se, we would say that most surgical metal implants have some amount of nickel (e.g. surgical grade stainless steel 316L) and nickel seems to be what people who have metal allergies are reacting to.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, February 5, 2012

• Hi, My name is Linda. I have just found out that I have full thickness tears in 2 of the 4 muscles that hold my right shoulder in place. I was considering possible surgery until I discovered that the standard now is metal screws to be used as anchors in the bone to run the stitches thru. I have had 2 serious orthodontic allergies in the 90s to metals used in my mouth. With chronic pain & TMJ until the metal was removed. My dentist really didn't take it seriously. I have no idea what the metal was & am very hesitate about doing the surgery. Does anyone have any information for me. I can fine practically nothing on line. As a nurse of 30 years it did not surprise me when I read of the dozens of serious problems with stents that were ignored by most doctors. Metal allergies, especially used internally, should be even more important than drug allergies as there can be no immediate relief for them without serious surgery. Thank you for any input.
Linda, Stockton, Missouri, USA, February 5, 2012

• Elizabeth in Arizona -- Check out our Forum Topic on "Complications from Femoral (Leg) Catheterization, Angiogram or Angioplasty". It's more likely that you are having issues regarding the femoral access site. And Willyc in Tennessee -- not sure what you mean by "going back", but when a metal stent is expanded or stretched out inside the artery by the balloon it is mounted on, it stays open and should not collapse. That's the whole point -- it serves as a permanent scaffold to keep the artery open.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, November 20, 2011

• When this metal is used in stents is it true that it always goes back after being stretched out?
willyc, Tennessee, USA, November 12, 2011

• I had a stent put in 13 days ago via groin for coarctation of the aorta. I'm 54. my left thigh is numb, and I feel that I am getting electrical shocks. it hurts so much. what can I do?
Elizabeth, Arizona, USA, November 12, 2011

• Had over 20 titanium clips placed inside my chest and axilla. Nausea, rashes, intensive itching, pulsating. Dr was informed said no one can be allergic do you want to die every operation is preformed this way. Only 1 tiny clip can do nothing. Still after surgery only a few clips. Went for own x-ray own blood work patch tests all positive found more than 1 tiny clip. No cure and doctors thinking no one can be allergic. It's time to change the rules.
Patient in trouble, Canada, November 4, 2011

• Joyce -- It's an odd thing, because most cardiologists do not think that stents can involve hypersensitivity reactions (allergic) to metal. Yet the FDA-mandated package insert for every stent warns that their use is contra-indicated in patients who are allergic to any of the device's components, and specifically to nickel or surgical stainless steel 316L. We suggest that patients report these adverse reactions to the FDA.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, November 3, 2011

• Very interesting forum. I had not been aware of metal allergies with stents and did not know I had a metal allergy. I do not wear jewelry including watches or rings because I always break out in itchy watery blisters under them if I leave them on more than a few hours, I thought it was just a weird reaction because I am fair skinned. Since having a stent placed in LAD 6 weeks ago, I have experienced some weird symptoms: severe intense unbearable itching of the sole of my right foot, an outbreak of about 20 insect bite like itching bumps in a cluster on my right arm,and frequent mucous like feelings in my throat where I have to clear my throat repeatedly while trying to talk. I relieved the itching with Benadryl as it seemed to be an allergy of some kind and so far, thankfully have not had it again. The need to clear my throat persists. Don't know if these are metal allergies or not, but thought I should mention it in case someone else has this problem.
Joyce, Illinois, USA, November 2, 2011

• Bill from Massachusetts -- these were probably the Driver stents which are a cobalt-nickel alloy. If you are allergic to nickel, this may be an explanation. There is a lot of controversy about whether the relatively small amount of nickel in most stents can cause these types of reactions. Have you been tested by an allergist for metal allergies?
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, Oxctober 30, 2011

• Three bare metal Medtronic stents in right artery on August 2006. Have constant cough with tons of mucus since then. On no drugs and wondering if stents can cause mucus build up via an allergic reaction?
Bill Coffey SR., Retired, Nahant Massachusetts, USA, October 30, 2011

• Whitedove1968 from Georgia -- Almost all stents contain nickel in some degree, although a new stent from Boston Scientific contains the lowest percentage (9%) of nickel of any stent. It's called the Element™ but is not yet available in the U.S., awaiting FDA approval, possibly next year. Gold has actually been tested and the results were not great. European docs have tested a titanium-nitride-oxide–coated stent with very good results, spurred on to some extent by reports of patients with nickel allergies. Here's a journal article about it from 2005, "Randomized Comparison of a Titanium-Nitride-Oxide–Coated Stent With a Stainless Steel Stent for Coronary Revascularization"
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, October 30, 2011

• i believe that i will be needing a AVR with stent. i also have severe reaction to nickel, so much so that i must have plastic on the band of my watch instead of a metal clip (get small water blisters). is it possible to get a stent made or coated with gold. i have little to no reaction to it. this would seem to solve the problem.
whitedove1968, Jasper, Georgia, USA, October 25, 2011

• one year back i have undergone for ptca. after that i am having itching under left rib. is there any medicine for curing.
rib itching, Hyderabad, India, October 24, 2011

• I have been greatly impacted by a allergic reaction to a metal implant in my back. Multiple very good doctors told me that there was NO WAY I could could experience the health problems I had because of my implant. I got the implant out just about one month ago, and already feel like a new person!! It is possible to react! I just started a forum for those with reactions to metal. Please visit and post if you've experienced a reaction. The address is Also, the best place I found to start doing research for myself was Thank you!
metalallergy, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, September 28, 2011

• In 2006, I had bypass surgery. My surgeon used the figure eight method to wire my sternum. About 2 years later, I had three of the Xience coated stents placed in my arteries. I had also been told that my wires had broken but it was nothing to worry about. I started to feel the wires sticking me from the inside, having chronic chest pain, difficulty with my breathing, fatigue, and general weakness. Sometimes it feels like I am having electric currents running across my chest. My surgeon attempted to remove my sternal wires last year, but was only able to remove the ones on top. He couldn't get the ones that were under the sternum. It seemed to relieve some of the pain temporarily. Now I am feeling even more pain, and the soreness/tenderness in my chest is, at times, almost unbearable. I am on a daily regimen of aspirin, Plavix, cardevilol, etc. Could I possibly be allergic to the wire or stents? I do not have any rashes. Do you have any suggestions??
Dennis, St. Louis, Missouri, USA, September 27, 2011

• My son at 34 had a heart attack and had stents cholesterol ace perfect. It is now 15 months later and he never stopped having the chest pain after the stenting. He was going to have another heart cath twice now and one was due to an injury he had and one due to the Dr. becoming ill. If someone has these ongoing pains and have knowledge of how to get rid of them if they aren't heart related, let me know
Medlife10, Altoona, Pennsylvania, USA, August 30, 2011

• B.R. in St. Louis -- your sister's problem may be related to an access site complication, affecting the femoral nerve (we assume her stents were introduced through the femoral artery in the groin area). You can read more about these complications in our Forum Topic, "Complications from Femoral (Leg) Catheterization, Angiogram or Angioplasty"
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, August 10, 2011

• Dear Forum -- My sister had a heart attack two years ago and they placed three stents to open up her arteries. Since she had these put in she has been in chronic pain by a burning sensation down her legs and now it has traveled to the rectum area. She has been to so many different doctors and they cannot find what is causing this. She is at her wits end and she told me she cannot live with this pain any longer. I am really concerned about her and was wondering if anyone else has experienced this type of reaction. Thank you...
B.R., St. Louis, Missouri, USA, July 29, 2011

• In April of 2008, my sister in law Barbara was taken to the hospital with chest pain. Cardiac catheterization revealed a blockage and a stent was placed in her heart. A day later, developed severe chest pain, brought back to the catheterization lab and then four more stent were placed in her heart. Early symptoms post cath appeared to be heartburn and esophagitis. She was treated with antacids and sent home. Shortly thereafter, she developed numbness and tingling in her left arm. Oct. 2008, another stent. I believe she now has a total of 7 stents. Last week, another catheterization shows no blockages. Since 2008, she struggles to breathe and has a hard time just walking across the floor. The family is now wondering if it is possible that she may have sensitivities to the stents and if they can be removed from her body? It has been extremely difficult for the family to watch this beautiful active woman dwindle down to a sickly woman. We have raised the possibility of stent sensitivity to her doctor and they tell us that it is probably low. How can we push them to investigate this possibility?
Concerned in Boston, Waltham, Massachusetts, USA, May 25, 2011

• Jeff -- Your story is most interesting. A quick search of the medical literature shows very little has been written on this issue. A Danish study from 2006 describes your experience. 95 patients who got sternal wire removal were looked at, and 86% reported complete or partial recovery from their symptoms. BUT the study found that no patients reported being allergic to nickel (or any metal) so the pain, etc. supposedly had a different origin. But we note that patients were not tested for metal allergy. Wonder if you have been? It's great that your health has improved, but we're wondering if the problem really was a metal allergy or, as was the case in the Danish study, just the presence of the sternal wires.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, May 7, 2011

• I had triple bypass in 2008. Six months later, my health started going down hill. Over the next two years I got to the point where I had constant pain in the center of my chest, difficulty breathing, weakness, almost completely disabled. I knew the problem was with my sternum. After consultation with bone specialist, ex-rays, and other doctors, it was determined the wires had pulled out of my sternum. I was desperate enough to talk the surgeon into splitting and re-setting my sternum. He began the surgery and discovered my sternum was fine so he went ahead and removed the wires. He had determined I had a nickel allergy. Since the surgery, my health has greatly improved. I have to wonder, how long does it take for the body to re-adjust and get all the nickel out of our systems?
Jeff Pirkey, Big Zipper Club Member, Bremen, May 7, 2011

• My “kid” sister, age 65, recently had three DES Xience-V stents implanted on 2/28/2011, followed by an Aspirin/Plavix regimen. In 2007 she had three uncoated stents implanted in her right femoral artery. (She never “felt right” after the Feb. 28th stent insertion.). She is in a constant “allergic state” w extreme fatigue and her doctors are puzzled. (She has a “known” topical allergy to nickel.) Here’s a chronology of what’s happened: March 1st tingling in her arms/legs begins; 3/15 major rash with blotching all over her body – Dr switches to Effient (20 mg daily); 4/13 she's rushed to ER in anaphylactic shock – presumed allergic reaction to Effient? – Dr. places her on Ticlid 500 mgm BID; 4/17 severe muscle pain arms/legs – tingling in most nerve endings; 4/20 Dr. prescribes Prednisone; 4/30 itching begins on bottom of feet – Drs. going back to Plavix w Prednisone! WOW? Any ideas?
ConcernedBro, Kingwood, Texas, USA, April 30, 2011

• R.R. in Chicago. Scroll down this topic -- some posters have sent in links about places to get metal allergy testing done. We'd suggest seeing an immunologist or allergy doc to get testing as well. As for the amount of metal (nickel) in a stent, the plate in his leg contains infinitely more metal than a stent. As for symptoms, they seem to differ among individuals, but again, yours is a complex situation with several issues, MS, stent, plate in leg, etc. Definitely alert the interventionalist who is implanting the stent of these issues. As we're sure you are aware, CCSVI is also a new procedure that is a great topic of discussion in the interventional community. There have not been any randomized trials proving its worth, yet anecdotal evidence has shown some benefit. The medical community has debates about this therapy at most major meetings and many physicians want to avoid "overselling" it until it's proven. That being said, some patients have reported dramatic improvement after the stenting.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, April 26, 2011

• My boyfriend was recently diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. He has a large metal plate implant in his leg (for the past 10 years) and is considering getting it removed. From my understanding MS can be caused by metal toxicity. He has numbness in his hands and feet, particularly on the same side as the metal plate. His nutritionist said he may be having an allergic reaction to the implant. He is also scheduled to get an angioplasty in 2 weeks for his MS (CCSVI), which I also a little concerning if he is indeed allergic to metal and needs a stent. Can someone please tell me the common allergic reactions that people have with metal? Numbness? Is there a way he can be tested to find out if he is allergic and to what metals? I really really appreciate it! Thanks
R.R., Chicago, Illinois, USA, April 26, 2011

• Well, virtually all stents have nickel in them, some more than others. But with seven stents, you might be having an issue. The skin reactions, which are more typical symptoms with nickel allergy, are interesting, to say the least. Allergies to metal in the stents is a topic that is dismissed by most cardiologists. We're working on a story that appeared in CathLab Digest recently about this -- the bottom line: most cardiologists don't think this is a problem. Which is an interesting finding, since EVERY package insert, required by the FDA, warns against implanting a stent in anyone who may be hypersensitive to any component, and most of them specifically mention alloys containing nickel. We can't say what the pain under your breast could be or if it's related. Anyone out there have a similar symptom??
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, April 23, 2011

• I have both medicated and non-medicated stents. I experienced occasional skin irritations afterward. It became full-blown during a weeklong sickness in January. I do not have any other implants.
B.T.B., Mesa, Arizona, USA, April 23, 2011

• B.T.B. in Arizona -- Three questions: (1) what types of stents do you have?; (2) how long after the last stent implantation was it when you started having this rash?; and (3) have you had any other surgeries with implants.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, April 23, 2011

• Following a weeklong illness that kept me in bed three months ago, I developed a reoccurring rash that was diagnosed as a nickel allergy. Now I am getting a deep unusual pain under my breast. I have 7 stents and am concerned that there is a correlation. My doctor's response "I don't know".
B.T.B., Mesa, Arizona, USA, April 22, 2011

• Seems as though any kind of stent with nickel can be life threatening. I had a biliary stent placed and it created many of the same reactions as the cardiac stents. Vomiting, chest pain, shortness of breath, severe rashes, etc.. Thankfully the biliary stent is removable, so I had another surgery to remove it. I do have concerns with the cardiac stents thinking of my family history. It seems like in many cases, which would be better? To receive cardiac stents knowing that your allergic and willing to put up with life threatening reactions or possibly death, or..refuse a heart cath and hope you make it in time for heart surgery? It’s pretty sad that physicians don’t take this allergy as serious as it is. I guarantee they wouldn’t surgically put a hand-grenade in a family member, which is exactly what a person with a nickel allergy feels like. Just waiting for the time that their body can’t take the reaction anymore. Other than in an emergency, physicians should be required to release any implantable device documentation to you or your family member before any procedure is admitted. This would give us reasonable time to assess the contents of the material being used in our bodies.
C.M., Denver, Colorado, USA, February 18, 2011

• Jo in DC area -- we are not familiar with the Ligaclip and you didn't specify what metal you are allergic to but, if it's nickel, titanium alloy contains nickel. Exactly how much in this product, we don't know, but your surgeon should. In any case, a stent is very small with very thin metal struts -- not sure, but it would seem that the Ligaclips may have a greater mass. Also, the decision of stenting vs. surgery is based on many different criteria. If you haven't already, you should inform the surgeon if you are indeed highly allergic to metal. Read through these posts too.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, February 7, 2011

• Hello. I am scheduled for a triple bypass in 2 days, and my cardiac surgeon just told me about the titanium clips (Ligaclips) that he will have to use on some of the smaller grafts - these little clips will have to stay in my body. I am having bypass instead of stents because of my metal allergy. So this bombshell that was just dropped on me about the clips has me questioning having the procedure done - my gut is telling me NOT to do it. I'm worried about the sternal wires too, but at least those can be removed if they cause a problem - the clips can't. Anyone have any experience with these clips? I am so upset right now - I have prepared myself and my house and family and job for this surgery and now I don't know what to do. I don't want to have another heart attack but I don't want to extend my life for another 20-30 years (I'm 46) to spend it in misery because of being allergic to something in my heart.
jo, DC Area, USA, February 7, 2011

• A note to all readers: Dr. Morton Kern is clinical editor of Cath Lab Digest, a professional journal for cardiologists, nurses and technologists. In the current issue he has written a very interesting article, titled "How Should We Manage Nickel Allergy in Patients Needing Coronary Stents?" The bottom line is that he and the cardiologists he has discussed this issue with do not think that metal allergies are of significant impact in the era of drug-eluting stents, presumably because the metal stent is coated with a polymer, thus eliminating the exposure of any metal ions directly to the body. Dr. Kern is a internationally known interventional cardiologist, Chief of Cardiology at the Long Beach VA Hospital and Associate Chief Cardiology at UC Irvine School of Medicine. We are pleased that in this article he quotes us extensively from this very Forum, discussing the fact of how little is known about this potential phenomenon.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, February 1, 2011

• L.R.K. from New Jersey -- your question is a bit off topic, since it's not about stents. Pins and screws have considerably more mass than a very thin small stent. An allergist can certainly test you for metal allergies before your surgery. First, you should find out from the surgeon exactly the composition of the metals that will be used, then have yourself tested.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, February 1, 2011

• I am going to have Lumbar surgery with placement of pins and screws to align my spine. I have been told years ago by an allergist that I am allergic to metals (nickel-based). The pins and screws are titanium and alloys. What is the chance I will have a reaction. Is there a test I can have to find out? I wear a platinum wedding band and don't have a reaction to it. But certain earrings and the arm of my eyeglasses cause a reaction.
L.R.K., Millville, New Jersey, USA, February 1, 2011

• Karen in Maine -- see the topic you posted to "Allergic Reactions After Drug Eluting Stent (DES)" -- sorry for the delay.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, January 31, 2011

• why isn't anyone making non nickel medical products. Even if they are made out of gold. A little more expensive but they a least could be worn. There is obviously a market out there.
itchynickel, every day person that is allergic to nickel, British Columbia, Canada, January 21, 2011

• I added a post yesterday but can't find it today so I am adding another and I hope to get some answers. Had 2 bare metal stents put in at Christmas 2010, since yesterday I have had itchy palms and the soles of my feet. Anybody else having these problems?
Karen, Shapleigh, Maine, USA, January 18, 2011

• Meg in Toledo -- all stents (both bare metal and drug-eluting) have some percentage of nickel in them and all FDA-required package inserts have a warning that says something like: "Persons allergic to 316L stainless steel (including the major elements iron, chromium, nickel, molybdenum) may suffer an allergic reaction to this implant." (The preceding quote is in a letter to healthcare professionals from Abbott Vascular, offering samples of their stents for allergy testing -- you can read the entire letter here.) Although every stent has this warning, we get many postings from patients like yourself who have not been asked about this prior to stent implantation. Unfortunately the actual clinical results of patients who have this hypersensitivity to nickel have not been well-documented, i.e. are the symptoms you're having caused by a nickel allergy? The amount of nickel in the stents is not great, but the incidence of the population who have this allergy has been estimated at up to 17% -- obviously more research is needed. That being said, it is also possible that your "not feeling well" post stenting is due to other factors (read our topic "Not Feeling Well After Stenting") which may be temporary. You should discuss these issues with your cardiologist -- and let us know the results.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, January 11, 2011

• I had a heart attack in May 2010, received two stents. In December, the same area required a new stent. Now I have problems breathing and always have a small ache in my chest and fatigue. I am allergic to nickel, although no one asked. If this is the problem, what are some alternative solutions? I feel terrible.
Meg, Toledo, Ohio, USA, January 11, 2011

• David -- do you have any known allergies to metal -- this would be to nickel which is found in stainless steel jewelry. Your symptoms don't sound like the typical reactions to metal. Perhaps some of your issues may be due to medications you are taking -- and your symptoms may be lessened by adjusting or changing your meds. The problems in your legs should be checked out by a doctor -- you may have the early stages of peripheral artery disease, basically the same disease that causes coronary arteries to narrow can also affect arteries in the legs, etc. Let us know what you find out. Your doctor may also be able to help you with depression. This is a known syndrome that patients experience, especially after the discovery of heart disease. It IS depressing -- the best thing you can do is share with others, realize that you're not alone in this (we'd like to think our Forum can help here) and become more active. Exercise can be very helpful here and stent patients can regain much, if not all, of their former activity levels (see our topic "Exercise, Sport, Physical Activity After Stent".)
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, January 8, 2011

• I had 3 Xience V stents placed in my heart one year ago dec 2009. I do not feel hunger pains or after eating no full feeling. I do not feel the urge to move my bowel. I don't know if this has anything to do with the stents. Just wondering if someone else has had a problem like this. Have developed neuropathy in feet. Feet get extremely cold and sensitive to socks. I don't know if I am allergic to any metal or medicine in stents. When I lay down, my feet after a while do not feel cold. Just have some numbness in my toes. I want to stay in bed all the time. I also suffer from depression. This could be a lot of my problem. Could someone give me some advice. Thank you
David Hayes, Van Buren, Arkansas, January 8, 2011

• Still not getting any answers on the metal stent and what to do about. Now have worsening rash on my right arm and left hand. New cardiologists concurs I am the victim of a hospital affiliated with a cardiovascular center looking for patients and their marketing budget/pockets rather than in need of services and the angioplasty and stent where probably unnecessary my back problem didn't serve there purposes. This pre-angioplasty vegetarian is now on a diet of BLTs and canned soup everything else causes explosive diarrhea. OFF Plavix loaded with lactose and Lipitor (did not have elevated cholesterol) also loaded with lactose and will give up Lisinopril and Metoprolol on my own (do not have high blood pressure) if they do not find a pharmacy with one lactose free or change to alternative with lactose free soon versions soon. Every manufacture uses different inert ingredients check to find out what is in the NDC number of what you are getting from your pharmacy; you will have to ask for the NDC number, it is not on the bottle and you will have to check every time as they do not buy from the same manufacturer every time. This is so wrong!
Candice Anne, Rumford, Maine, USA, December 5, 2010

• Replying to both Carol from Gainesville and S.P. from Santa Monica -- titanium is used in certain surgical implants but there may be small amounts of nickel in the titanium. As a 2005 German study states:

"The nickel atoms are in solid solution in the titanium lattice. Nickel allergic patients may develop hypersensitivity reactions even due to this low nickel content. Hence, this reaction may be falsely attributed to the titanium material itself."

As we've written, allergic reactions to small implanted devices such as coronary stents, where the actual amount if metal is quite small, have not been well-studied. Cardiologists we have worked with are fairly sure that some patients have hypersensitivity reactions to the plastic polymers used in first generation drug-eluting stents (Taxus, Cypher) but hypersensitivity reactions to the metal, especially nickel, have not been well-documented, even though ALL of the FDA-required package inserts for coronary stents specifically state that their use is contra-indicated in patients who are allergic to any of the device's components, and specifically to nickel or surgical stainless steel 316. We suggest that patients report these adverse reactions to the FDA.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, October 17, 2010

• Had titanium hardware placed in April 2010 (assuming it is an alloy). Developed fatigue, neurological changes at about 6 weeks. Continued to decline. hardware taken out of ankle at about 6 months post op (my request...thank goodness I had health insurance.) Felt immediate relief but some symptoms returned (staples had been placed!) Staples out now. I feel I am improving slowly. each day a hair less fatigued. i am going to have blood work.(future dental work may require metal). My story is not cardiac but might be helpful to someone (since it is related to metal.) Fatigue, weakness, neurological changes (gait change, feeling like my legs were disconnected to my trunk). Also, the second round of staples (for hardware removal) caused my skin to turn black (each staple site developed a small, black, spot.) I am going to a neurologist next week (even though I feel I am improving) to get his take on my changes. Massage therapy also has helped.
Carol, Gainesville, Florida, USA, October 17, 2010

• My mother just had a pacemaker put in last week and today she has welts all over her body. She informed her doctors that she had an allergy to metal, but they felt titanium would not affect her (she was not tested for this allergy). Does anyone know if the titanium wires can be removed and replaced with a material she is not allergic to?
S.P., Santa Monica, California, USA, October 14, 2010

• i am having crazy breathing than the the chest pain night & difference times in the day. i could just be talking & all at once i get out of breath. i could use the bath & before i am finish i am out of breath. i could be driving, talking, standing or getting up & i get out of breath. i was feeling like something was wrong with me, & all a long it may have something to do with the devices like metal
bad stent 208, Washington, North Carolina, USA, October 5, 2010

• I believe that certain individuals can have allergies to heart stents. I had 15 stents and and kept having blockages. My cardiologist, has came to the conclusion that I am one of those rare cases that seem to reject stents. It seems to make sense though, because I cannot wear jewelry or belt buckles with nickel. I have had a quadruple bypass and have did better, but one of the arteries does not function, it is just there. However, I must say that I do so much appreciate the wonders of technology and the brilliance of my cardiologist and heart surgeon because without them I would not be here.
Barbara Johnson, Richmond, Virginia, USA, August 26, 2010

• i had a cypher stent in lad dec 2007 stopped plavix after 2 years 4 months had allergic rash i am allergic to nickel chromium + cobalt 2 weeks ago i had a heart attack thrombosis at stent told dr. about allergy they implanted 3 stents same site made of cobalt + chromium what next; rash is coming back.
Don, Mickleton, New Jersey, USA, August 23, 2010

• On July 28, 2010, I went to a local hospital for a long standing back problem. The hospital is owned by a regional hospital which heavily markets its cardiovascular center. I was plugged into an EKG and told I had a heart problem and rushed off to the cardiovascular center and straight to catheterization despite objections. I repeatedly stated my allergy to nickel and stainless steel. I awoke in the middle of the procedure to find that despite my warning of my allergy a stainless steel stent had been placed in my chest. At my panic the doctor acted like this was the first he heard of my allergy. It was in the chart along with my bleeding problem also "discovered" the hard way during the procedure something which was also clearly warned of in the documentation and by me when I was brought in to the procedure room. After the procedure the doctor disappeared, his associates won't address my concerns and I am terrified about the potential consequence of having this known allergen in my chest. Could this thing kill me? Should it be removed? How?
CandiceAnne, Rumford, Maine, USA, August 20, 2010

• So what do you do if you're allergic to metals and your arteries are all blocked up? I know I'm allergic to nickel and I know it's fairly severe (can't wear most jewelry), and I also know that I have 4 blockages and have already had 1 heart attack. My understanding is that metal is also involved in bypass to wire the ribcage closed. So do I just sit back and die? I've refused stent and bypass because of the allergy but I am almost ready to take my chance with the metal because the pain in my chest is awful and the fear of each pain being "the one" is gonna drive me crazy. I don't know what to do.
Jo, Washington DC area, USA, June 22, 2010

• Oh boy... Just had a stent put in and have developed the rash, SOB, many PVC's, syncope episodes, nausea. I have been unable to get help from my cardiologist, her only comment to these reactions was, "See you in eight months." Had I continued with the Metoprolol, I doubt I would have been alive in 8 mos. I am so sorry no one asked me about allergy problems before the drug-eluding stent was permanently implanted. It does not sound like I am alone.
Jimbo111, Texas, USA, May 26, 2010

• Hi I am a 48 yr old female who just had stents put in 2 weeks ago. I had 2 stents put in my LAD I had a 90% blockage. When I found out that they contained nickel I became quite concerned considering I am allergic to nickel and no one ever asked me if I was allergic to any metals or not. In the hospital following the procedure I kept having bouts of profuse sweating and my blood pressure would go up. This lasted for about 24 hours no one could tell me why. Now I have had a very itchy rash appear on my right arm in the bend of my elbow. I am wondering if this is an allergic reaction to the stents. I really haven't felt well since I had them put in. I have a drs appt on June 3rd and am anxious to see what he says.
Dana, Simpsonville, South Carolina, USA, May 26, 2010

• hey guys, things are on insurance stalemate right now. Tana still has 14 teeth to go. Insurance now wants second opinion from two other dentists. we are on state insurance, finding the one we have now took 3 years and a lot of pleading. Back to square one.Tana's symptoms have returned. Need to get metal out of her. Yes some has been removed, but not all. 11coronary stents can't be removed, ever.As for the symptoms returning, think of it this way........let's say you are holding 50 lbs, after a while that gets heavy. Then someone takes 25 lbs away, feels great huh? but for how long? After a while that 25 lbs remaining gets heavy too. The body is the same way. Tana got some of the total metal allergic metal out but not all of it. Her body is tired of constantly fighting against the metal allergy. 24/7 up regulated immune system. Those that are trying to contact us you can find us on Facebook under Happy Spouse House. Or on twitter under moglins1.
chad and tana, Spokane, Washington, May 18, 2010

• Posters to this topic should also check out the "related topics" in the far right-hand column. Some of these rashes or itching may be due to new medications that were started right after stent implantation. But don;t stop taking any, especially Plavix, without discussing this with your cardiologist.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, April 24, 2010

• I'm worried about my husband who has a stent. 4 x's this year the onset is throwing up, shakes, fever followed by rashes on his legs. What have some of you experienced with your allergy to stents? He couldn't take Plavix..that gave him hives. His doctor say's it's an allergy but doesn't persue blood testing. I'm so worried for him. Thanks for anything you can tell me so I can pass it on to him.
Sue M, Fairport, New York, USA, April 23, 2010

• Toni -- to our best knowledge, an infection would not be a hypersensitivity reaction. Infections around the chest after CABG (coronary artery bypass grafting) are not uncommon. However, there have been a few studies regarding your thoughts. For example, "Metal allergy to stainless steel wire after coronary artery bypass grafting " appeared in a 2003 issue of the Journal of Artificial Organs.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, April 10, 2010

• My brother-in-law had a quadruple by-pass surgery. We know that he has a contact allergy to his watch band. That his Granddaughter had a bad reaction to braces on her teeth. He has been having infection in his chest. We are just wondering if infection is a symptom of allergy or if it is just an infection. If anyone can help with this it would be greatly helpful. Doctors keep saying no that allergy to the screen that is holding his breast bone together couldn't be it.
Toni, Flint, Michigan, USA, March 30, 2010

• need to find out if there is anything to stop an itch that my father had when he got his stents in his heart. that was in the 2008 of May.
Lisa, student, Newton, Illinois, USA, March 16, 2010

• Besides the Melisa lab, is there any clinic in Atlanta or suburbs that tests for metal allergies? Thanks.
Scarlett Smith, Woodstock, Georgia, USA, February 23, 2010

• i got two stints [stents] on 2/14/2010, it is now 2/22/2010, ever since i came home from the hospital i have this bad ache in my chest it feels like the same place my stints [stents] are, should i be concerned, please help...
James, Roanoke, Texas, USA, February 23, 2010

• Dear Editor: Seems like the snowball is getting bigger as the word gets out about metal allergy. Couldn't be happier. I researched orthopedicanalysis and yes they metal test. I couldn't find however the vast array of metals tested for. MELISA seems to test for more metals, but I could be mistake. Also MELISA tests for more, mold allergies, Lyme disease and a few others.As for Tana, 10 teeth so far in 2 weeks, and what a world of difference she feel so far. Fevers were a constant before, now maybe 4 or five times since. Panic attacks less, brain fog lifting, mood more mellow, (less episodes of manics,) The list is huge. Bottom line, Tana is getting the overall metal load out of her body and she is feeling better everyday. It's a long road to go with the detox and all, but at least now there is a light at the end of our tunnel. Still can't find a cardiologist for tana and her stents. We have interviewed 6 so far. Even with the proof we have of Tana's allergy, they are either to afraid to treat her, don't believe this is the cause, or it is outside their knowledge base. Truly would you want a cardiologist that WON'T see metal allergy exists to stents? Nope
Chad and Tana Lehan, care provider, Spokane, Washington, USA, February 10, 2010

• I had three stents put in on 11/20/09 and broke out in a terrible rash shortly thereafter. Also, my hands turned bright red and started swelling. The itch was unbearable. I went to an allergist and found I am allergic to cobalt. A nurse friend suggested I take Claritin, which I did. The itching and rashes have stopped about 85 percent with 10mg Loratadine ($10 for 30 at Walgreen's for Wal-itin, which is the same as Claritin I'm going back to the allergist tomorrow to be tested for nickel, etc. allergy. But I think my problem is Plavix. Millions take it and 6 percent are allergic (
Barbara F., Florida, USA, February 7, 2010

• Hi Chad. Glad to see at least a little progress for you and your wife. I don't think it's feasible to test every patient about to get a metallic implant (of any sort) -- especially when there's an emergency situation. But I do feel that patients are not asked the question, "Are you allergic to any metal, jewelry, nickel, etc.?", enough, certainly not strongly enough, before a procedure -- which doesn't make sense since EVERY DFU and FDA label for stents (of any type) specifically warns against implanation in a patient who is allergic to nickel or any component of the stent. As for tissue regrowth, restenosis is a complex biological process and is not merely an "allergic" reaction. If it were, then drug-eluting stents could just be coated with benadryl or steroids or other antihistamine. In fact, the ideal situation is to have the stent covered by a thin layer of healthy endothelial tissue so that the blood flows freely and the platelets don't begin to clump. A problem occurs when too much tissue grows, causing a repeat blockage, or "restenosis".
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, February 6, 2010

• to all who check here my wife is still going strong. 5 of the metals she is allergic to are in her teeth. Even the silver one. She finally found a dentist confident enough to removed them a few at a time with her extensive heart disease history. OUCH. Needed heart team on standby. Took 3 years and a lot of pleading but it's getting done. YEAh!!!!

TO all that find themselves metal allergic to their stents we need to spread the word. We need to find a way to make it mandatory METAL allergy testing before this one Non removable implant is installed. Low estimate is 14% of women are already allergic to nickel. Why HAVE women passed men in heart disease? BTW, restenosis is scar tissue, not plaque or cholesterol. Scar tissue is what the body makes up to cover an allergen. The medication on the MEDICATED STENts is for slowing the scar tissue growth. isn't the plavix or aspirin the med used to keep platelets from sticking to the scar tissue?

QUOTE FOR TAXUS DFU (directions for use)
"Restenosis is formation of tissue ingrowth in treated area"
"Drug eluting stents are designed to deliver a drug locally to reduce tissue ingrowth."
Chad, Washington State, USA, February 3, 2010

• DT -- no reason to suspect Plavix -- it may have side effects, but pain and the type of reactions you are describing are not typical. BTW, you stated that you were prescribed Plavix because you had high cholesterol, but Plavix is not a cholesterol lowering drug. Was there some other reason?
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, February 2, 2010

• I am allergic to nickel. In 2004 I had a bunionectomy and titanium rods were placed in 2 toes (dr. said titanium didn't contain nickel). In 2005, I had a lumpectomy for breast cancer. 2 weeks into radiation I was hospitalized w/chest pain and was told I had high cholesterol and was prescribed Plavix. Shortly thereafter I started having joint pain in foot and back. My foot actually gets numb and my back hurts even to the touch. Nothing has helped. In 2007, a stent was placed in one of my arteries because again I was hospitalized w/chest pain. Periodically I break out w/blisters on my hands. I am tired all the time and could not work after radiation treatment. All this time I thought the problem was my reaction to radiation treatment. Would it be the Plavix that has caused me so much pain? I ham thoroughly confused. Please advise.
DT, Nevada, USA, February 1, 2010

• I had a heart attack on 11/23/09 and had an emergency stent placed in artery with 100% blockage. After I got home, I read the stent had Nickel and was immediately concerned. However, I never had any adverse reactions while waiting for a 2nd stent to be placed 3 weeks later, for an artery blocked at around 75%. After it was complete and I came home, I began itching within several days. I called my Dr. and he seemed baffled. I mentioned I have a Nickel allergy, but he was sure that wasn't it and told me to take Benadryl (It was a weekend and he was on call). The Benadryl helped, but as of this writing, and finding so much information here, I am convinced that Nickel is the problem and plan on contacting him on Monday to discuss. This site was a Godsend for me, and made me realize I'm not crazy. Now to convince my Dr. and find a long term solution. Will keep you posted of outcome. Thanks for this site and all of your input!
Diana D, Columbus, Ohio, USA, December 13, 2009

• Hi, my mother was concerned about metal allergies before she got her stent put in. Her doctor recommended her to get a blood test for metal allergy with a company called orthopedic analysis. It was very easy to deal with them and apparently do this testing for all orthopedic devices. Sure enough, she was extremely reactive to Nickel and had to reassess the situation with her doc. I thought this might help.This is their website Good luck and God bless.
Matt, Louisiana, USA, December 4, 2009

• I am allergic to the components of my PROMUS stent implant. Specifically cobalt, chromium and nickel. I have not been tested for allergies to the drug coating. My symptoms are fatigue, headache, joint pain, digestive and bowel movement problems. I have requested the stent be removed by by-pass surgery. Three different cardiologists recommend I learn to "live with it." Living with these allergies is too detrimental to my health. Please advise.
Irmgard A., Newmarket, New Hampshire, USA, October 5, 2009

• Visit to get tested for metal allergy though a blood test. It is a laboratory based in the U.S. that has provided metal allergy testing for the last 5 years. You get results in 10 days. [Editor's note: this submission was sent in by an employee of the testing company. Posting does not constitute an endorsement of the testing or the company and Angioplasty.Org urges interested parties to thoroughly read the company's website, disclaimers and price lists.]
MC, Chicago, Illinois, USA, September 17, 2009

• About 4 weeks ago I had a drug-eluting stent and was prescribed the usual Plavix and aspirin. I was doing quite well until yesterday when I noticed a very red, rough rash on my chest. Itches a little, but bearable. I wonder if anyone can advise me if this might be a sudden allergy, either to the stent or to the Plavix, after this amount of time. I did a vigorous one-hour workout yesterday, so I had a good sweat, and I thought the that and the meds might have caused the rash. Can anyone tell me if this is dangerous? Since it is the weekend, my cardiologist is not working, and I would hate to bother him anyway over something that could be only minor. Is this something that can be cleared up using creams and antihistamines. I would be most grateful if anyone can offer some suggestions. Thank you.
Jan Finley, Spartanburg, South Carolina, USA, August 30, 2009

• I had a stent placed in my LAD artery for a 90% or better blockage in August 2004. Not too long after that I started having what I thought was a terrible "crick" in my neck. The pain just kept getting worse, and after going thru a cervical disectomy and fusion to stop the pain, the pain got much worse. I was finally dx with Cervical Dystonia which is a neurological condition caused by some type of problem or blockage in the basil ganglia of the brain. I never had any type of neck problem until this and i just wonder if the stent had something to do with the misfiring of the basil ganglia in my brain? It is a long shot ... but who knows?? I am also allergic to nickel. I am just searching for answers.
Regina Van Etten, Elko, Georgia, USA, August 18, 2009

• forum, no we haven't -- They are now giving us the run around on finding allergist (non seem to know how to check him). I have given the dr print outs of the and they are trying to get him into a cardio at a mayo clinic. I don't understand why this is taking so long draw blood send it to melisa.
Amanda, Patterson, Georgia, USA, July 22, 2009

• Amanda -- (also posted in Forum Topic on Plavix) -- have you determined whether or not your father is allergic to nickel or stainless steel (which contains nickel). ALL Stents, DES or bare metal, contain nickel and the official FDA-mandated Directions For Use (DFU) included with each stent specifically warns that stents should not be implanted in persons with a known hypersensitivity to any of the components.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, July 21, 2009

• Chad I am sorry to hear of all this but I think I may have a loved one suffering like your wife. I would like to hear more of her story.
Amanda, Patterson, Georgia, USA, July 16, 2009

• hello! My Father-in-law has been allergic to a DES in 2006 it was removed with bypass. It stayed in for two months before Dr's could figure it out. It caused damage! He had a pacemaker placed. No testing for any allergies done. Dr's didn't send him anywhere to be tested! Last Fri. had to have a cath done blockage found and they put a BMS in and he is reacting to it. The stent dr. wants him to tough it out and see if tissue will cover it and symptoms go away. Does that sound right to any of you. We are all frustrated cause this Dr. was the one who placed the first stent and was reminded of this before placing the second!!!!!!!! Can anyone tell us what to do! He is having chest pains, chills, shortness of breath, hives on chest and back!
Amanda, Patterson, Georgia, USA, July 16, 2009

• Lori -- this Forum is devoted to devices used in stenting coronary arteries, but many surgical implants are made of alloys that contain nickel. Have you been tested for a nickel allergy? Have you discussed your pains with your surgeon -- your physicial therapist??
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, July 15, 2009

• I had a Rotator Cuff/Shoulder surgery about 8 weeks ago. I have been in agonizing pain ever since. All of my joints muscles a low grade fever constantly. I do not feel well at all. Does this sound like I could have an allergy to the "Nickel Pins" the surgeon implanted in my shoulder? Thanks for any info!!!!
Lori Lyle, Arizona, USA, July 12, 2009

• THANK GOD, I did a lot of research, i need to have angioplasty and stents but when i found out they contain metal / nickel which i am highly allergic to, the Dr said it was a no go. Had I had the stents put in, I would have suffered extremely bad to them. I think this is the case with many of you that have problems with the stents, NO MATTER WHAT KIND, because they all contain NICKEL!
MO, New York, USA, June 11, 2009

• Chad and Tana plz respond here, you are from Spokane and I have some questions for you and maybe some helpful information.
Cheryl, Phoenix, Arizona, USA, May 15, 2009

• I have been allergic to nickel/metal for years.. I have just recently worn a heart monitor with hypoallergenic electrodes. Was suppose to wear it for 20 days, but I have broken out in sores and blisters at the electrode sights had to take the monitor off after 10 days.... I have low grade fever and constant nausea and I know it's from the reaction. Been having problems with heart rate being to low and irregular for approx. 3 years now. I have been curious about stents and pacemakers with these allergies.
Helen, Albany, Georgia, USA, April 22, 2009

• In response to a query from Angioplasty.Org, Dr. Marc Feldman of San Antonio, Texas, who is currently conducting a research study on allergic reactions to drug-eluting stents, replied:

"Nickel allergies are a different type of allergic reaction than what we are investigating. There was a paper published earlier in this decade about pts with Nickel allergies developing increased intimal hyperplasia and restenosis with bare metal stents, but there were no reports of eosinophilic reactions."

I believe the paper Dr. Feldman is referring to is titled, "Nickel and molybdenum contact allergies in patients with coronary in-stent restenosis", and was one that Chad from Washington linked to below. We've been researching other studies, but they have been very few.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, March 5, 2009

• I know stents are small. But keep one thing in mind: it's still bigger than a peanut or a bee sting. If you are allergic it doesn't matter how small. You can't see a flu bug but it will kill ya. I've sent you two must reads. I'm sorry that they are a bit of a read. I have tons more:

I went to a web site: It's where we got her blood allergy test done. After all aren't we talking about an implant in the blood, not on the skin. Skin patch test is inconclusive.

I have spoken at length to their head scientist both in Europe and here. Long story short, I got them to questioning things. They have confirmed that if the metal is not removed, my wife's systemic allergic reaction will only get worse. We knew of the allergy to nickel, we were surprised to learn of the others (molybdenum and platinum) she is allergic to in all 11 coronary stents. If you knew my wife's medical history your heart would go out to her. If there is one person allergic, there are more, count on it. I don't want to stop stents from being used (yes I do). I do understand that they help most. But not all.
Chad and Tana, Washington State, USA, February 13, 2009

• my name is Tana. I'm 34. I have had 15 heart caths, 11 stents placed, a triple bypass and my sternal wires removed because I am allergic to metal, 8 of them to be exact. My symptoms. Fibromyalgia, Ibs, chronic fatigue syndrome, swelling and pain in all my joints similar to arthritis, bipolar, borderline personality disorder, and manic depression. The worst of all of them are the flu like symptoms, fever, nausea, aches. Those are pretty constant. On a happier note I still get to wake up and smile everyday. with my incredible kids and husband of almost 17 years so its not all bad, i am luckier then most, have a great day.
Tana, Washington State, USA, February 13, 2009

• J.J. from UK -- here are some references to warnings about implanting stents in patients with metal allergies. The FDA warning is for all metal stents (bare and drug-eluting), not just the examples quoted here. The same language is in both the Instructions For Use (IFU) for the CYPHER drug-eluting stent (page 4) and from the Directions for Use (DFU) for the TAXUS drug-eluting stent (page 2): "Patients with a known hypersensitivity to 316L stainless steel may suffer an allergic reaction to this implant." and so on. The part of the stainless steel alloy that seems to cause the allergy is nickel. (Also, many metal surgical devices are made with Nitinol, a nickel-titanium alloy). The tricky part here is the phrase "with a known hypersensitivity." How such a condition becomes "known" is dependent on the patient communicating this knowledge to the physician. Patients are supposed to be questioned about allergies before a stent (or pretty much any medical procedure) but this query ("are you allergic to metal?") often gets lost in a long list of questions. Moreover, many patients may not be aware of their condition. Does this mean every potential stent patient should be given an allergy skin patch test?
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, May 20, 2008

• Dear Forum -- Thank you for your support so far. I am still trying to find out the make of stent that my mother had fitted and also to convince the specialists that there is the possibility of metal allergies and stents. In your post of 5th May 2008 you referred to the FDA-mandated package inserts for All stents that urges caution against implanting stents in patients with known allergies to nickel and chrome. Could you please give me a reference for this info – i.e. a document on the web that I can research further and pass on to the specialists? My google searches so far have not been able to locate anything (this could be due to me struggling because of my medical ignorance!). Your support and advice is much appreciated. Many many thanks.
J.J., United Kingdom, May 19, 2008

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