ABBOTT PARK, Ill., May 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Abbott (NYSE: ABT) today announced CE Mark in Europe for the XIENCE Xpedition™ 48 Everolimus Eluting Coronary Stent System, the first-of-its-kind treatment for very long blockages in the vessels that supply blood to the heart due to coronary artery disease (CAD). XIENCE Xpedition 48 leverages the proven design and clinical outcomes of the XIENCE family of drug eluting stents in a unique 48 mm length. Abbott continues to offer physicians more options for the treatment of patients with complex coronary artery disease and is the only major manufacturer to offer a coronary drug eluting stent greater than 38 mm in length. XIENCE Xpedition 48 is the latest in a long history of stent innovations pioneered by Abbott, which was the first company to offer physicians size-specific metallic stents for use in small and large vessels of the heart. Studies indicate that physicians choose to use multiple shorter length stents to meet the challenges of treating long blockages – or lesions – in as many as 30 percent of interventional heart procedures, as conventional stent sizes may not always fully cover the lesion. It has been shown, however, that the use of a single stent instead of multiple stents may result in several procedural benefits, including the use of fewer devices, less exposure to X-ray during the procedure, and reduced procedure time, which could lead to economic benefits. In patients with coronary artery disease, lesions are caused by the buildup of fat and cholesterol inside blood vessels; long lesions are most often seen in patients with diabetes, a significant and growing portion of the population due to changing diet and lifestyle habits. When the blood vessels feeding the heart are blocked or partially blocked due to CAD, patients can experience symptoms such as chest pain and shortness of breath, and in some cases, a heart attack.