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3D rendering of a stent in a coronary artery
In medicine, a stent is a metal or plastic tube inserted into the lumen of an anatomic vessel or duct to keep the passageway open, and stenting is the placement of a stent. There is a wide variety of stents used for different purposes, from expandable coronary, vascular and biliary stents, to simple plastic stents used to allow the flow of urine between kidney and bladder. Stent is also used as a verb to describe the placement of such a device, particularly when a disease such as atherosclerosis has pathologically narrowed a structure such as an artery.
A stent should be differentiated from a "shunt". A shunt is a tube that connects two previously unconnected parts of the body to allow fluid to flow between them. Stents and shunts can be made of similar materials, but perform two different tasks.