‘stint’ or ‘stent’?

The Midwest region of America is often mocked for its accent. English speakers from this region might pronounce some vowels differently than speakers in other parts of America. Linguists call this phenomenon the Northern Cities Vowel Shift. Minnesotans who say milk, for instance, might sound like they are asking for melk, in an archetypical example.

The same vowel shift makes some words indistinguishable from others—stint and stent, for example, are separate words that fit into entirely separate contexts, but can sound the same when spoken by some Midwesterners.

What’s the real difference between these words? Continue reading to learn more.

What is the Difference Between Stint and Stent?

In this post, I will compare stint vs. stent. I will use each of these words in at least one example sentence, so you can see how they should appear in context.

Plus, I will show you a helpful memory tool that you can use any time you need to choose either stent or stint.

When to Use Stint

‘Stint’ or ‘Stent’?What does stint mean? The word stint is a noun. A stint is a short duration of time. It usually references a period of employment, but it can also be used in other contexts as well.

The president of an organization may have served a stint in a lesser role before being promoted, or a criminal might serve a stint in jail after being convicted of a crime.

For example,

  • During his stint as HR director, Mark cut retirement benefits for current employees and forced the union to accept lower wages until the next contract.
  • I once served a stint as a fry cook at our downtown location before I applied for a supervisor position at our new franchise.
  • The Yankees’ Masahiro Tanaka, above, returned from a 10-day stint on the disabled list to hold the Tigers to three runs and six hits in seven innings. –The New York Times

When to Use Stent

‘Stint’ or ‘Stent’?What does stent mean? Stent is also a noun. A stent is a medical device—it can be a tube inserted into a blood vessel to open a blockage or a device inserted into a wound to promote healing.

The following sentences contain the word stent in proper context:

  • The surgeon removed the stent from Jules’s artery once she determined that he no longer needed it.
  • Stents are useful medical devices that save many lives.
  • The results of a closely-watched trial involving an experimental heart stent made by Abbott Labs that dissolves in your body over time are out, and the findings contain both good news and bad news for the company. –The Washington Post

Regional variations in vowel pronunciation might render the difference between stent and stint undetectable for some speakers. Still, stent should rhyme with rent and bent when spoken aloud; stint rhymes with hint and lint.

Trick to Remember the Difference

‘Stint’ or ‘Stent’?Now, let’s go over a way to remember stent vs. stint.

Both of these words are nouns, but they refer to very different concepts.

  • A stint is a span of time.
  • A stent is a medical apparatus.

Since the words stent and nurse both contain the letter E, and can both be found in a hospital, you can use this shared letter as a reminder that stent refers to a certain type of medical device.


Is it stent or stint? These words are pronounced differently by careful speakers, and should be used differently by careful writers.

Stint is a noun; it means a span of time that someone spends doing a job or other activity. Stent, while also a noun, refers to a medical device used to clear or bypass blocked passageways.

Stint and Stent

‘Stint’ or ‘Stent’?

  • The artery was far too small to fit a stint.
  • Initially, they put in a stint and ordered an ERCP to determine the nature of the mass causing the blockage. 
  • They went in, got the stone, and put in a stint so any future stones would just pass.
  • The word these writers are reaching for is stent, a medical device in the form of a tube that is placed temporarily in a duct or blood vessel to relieve an obstruction or to aid in treatment.
  • Another type of stent is used in dentistry to determine the position of implants.

The word stent is an eponym, a word that derives from someone’s name. The person in this case is Charles T. Stent (1807—1885), an English dentist who improved the material used for making impressions of the mouth for dentures. He registered his compound under the trademark Stents.

  1. The word stint is used as both noun and verb.
  2. As a verb, to stint means “to use or give something in limited amounts.”
  3. Examples of stint as a verb:
  • The principal gives Coach Brown all the equipment he asks for, but stints his classroom teachers on file folders and paperclips.
  • The author brings the Middle Ages to life and does not stint in describing the stench of a privy.
  • It would be shortsighted to stint on preparing children to compete in a 21st century economy just to save a few nickels now on the local tax rate.
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As a noun, stint has more than one meaning.

A meaning of stint related to the verb is “limitation of supply or effort.” This use is most common in the phrase “without stint.” Here are some examples of this use:

  1. Fanny gave her smiles and affection to her children without stint.
  2. Her husband became sunk in alcohol and began to give away money without stint.
  3. Without stint, she wept.

A common meaning of stint is “a period of time spent in a particular activity.” Here are examples of this use:

  • Ben Hallock has done two stints as a coach.
  • With trauma, a long stint in intensive care may not mean low recovery odds.
  • Two of the school board members did short stints in jail on felony conspiracy charges.

‘Stint’ or ‘Stent’?

A type of sandpiper called a “stint”

A less common meaning of stint is “A small short-legged sandpiper of northern Eurasia and Alaska, with a brownish back and white underparts.”

For a detailed discussion of the origin and medical significance of the word stent, see this article by M. Hedin: The origin of the word stent, Acta Radiologica, 38:6, 937-939.

What is a stent? Uses, risks, and recovery

A stent is a tiny tube that a doctor places in an artery or duct to help keep it open and restore the flow of bodily fluids in the area.

Stents help relieve blockages and treat narrow or weakened arteries. Doctors may also insert stents in other areas of the body to support blood vessels in the brain or ducts that carry urine and bile.

A stent is usually a mesh-like metal tube, although fabric stents are also available. Sometimes, doctors will use dissolvable stents coated in medication as a temporary solution.

In this article, learn about why doctors use stents, as well as the benefits and possible risks.

Share on PinterestA stent can open up blood vessels with plaque blockages.

One of the most common uses for a stent is to open up a blood vessel that has a plaque blockage.

Plaque is a buildup of cholesterol, fat, and other substances found in the blood. When this plaque collects in the bloodstream, it sticks to the walls of the arteries.

Over time, this buildup narrows the arteries, limiting the amount of fresh blood that can reach the body.

A buildup of plaque in the arteries is a cause of coronary heart disease. Over time, people with narrowed arteries may begin to notice warning symptoms, such as chest pain. If people with the condition do not receive treatment, they may be at a higher risk of complications, such as a heart attack or stroke.

If the artery is at risk of collapsing or becoming blocked again, doctors may recommend inserting a stent to keep it open.

Doctors put a stent into an artery in a procedure known as a percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), or angioplasty with stent.

During PCI, doctors will insert a catheter into the artery. The catheter has a small balloon with a stent around it on one end.

When the catheter reaches the point of the blockage, the doctor will inflate the balloon. When the balloon inflates, the stent expands and locks into place. The doctor will then remove the catheter, leaving the stent in place to hold the artery open.

Who Needs Stents and Why?

Thank Our 43rd president, George W. Bush, recently was diagnosed with a blockage of one of the arteries of his heart. It required a cardiac procedure called stent implantation. Many people are now interested in knowing more about the procedure and why it was needed. Here are some coronary stent basics.

What is a stent and what is its function?

A stent is a small mesh tube made of either stainless steel or cobalt chromium alloys that is placed by a catheter into a narrowed (blocked) coronary artery.

The stent helps enlarge a segment of the artery to improve blood flow, which should reduce or eliminate symptoms of chest pain.

Stent technology is continually developing so we now use stents coated with medication which helps prevent the stent from clogging and narrowing (a process called restenosis).

Who needs a stent?

Stents are used to reduce symptoms in patients with obstructive artery disease who suffer chest pain/tightness or shortness of breath that might be experienced with exercise or during periods of strong emotions. Stents may be used instead of bypass surgery in some selected patients. Diabetic patients with multiple coronary blockages may do better with bypass surgery.

What is the stenting procedure?

Stents are placed during a coronary angiogram. A small tube called a balloon catheter is inserted into the femoral artery (leg) or the radial artery (arm), and advanced toward the heart to the very top of the aorta.

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After the blockage is identified, a wire is placed into the coronary artery to the site of the blockage and the stent is loaded on to the wire. The stent is expanded to the size of the artery and may be expanded by inflating a balloon within the stent.

Then the wires are removed along with the catheter, while the stent stays in the artery permanently.

What happens after the procedure?

Recovery from an angioplasty and stent implantation is usually fast. Most patients can resume normal activities 24 hours after the procedure. Some people experience bruising, which will disappear in a few days.

Due to a heightened risk of clotting after stenting, treatment with Aspirin AND antiplatelet drugs (also called anti-clotting drugs) is required for at least one year.

Among the possible antiplatelet drugs your cardiologist may prescribe are clopidogrel (Plavix) or ticagrelor (Brilinta). Make sure you understand the dosage and duration of the medications as detailed by your doctor.

Do not stop these medications without consulting your cardiologist.

Does a stent cure coronary artery disease?

Stents help prevent arteries from becoming narrow or blocked again in the months or years after the procedure. However, they are NOT a cure for coronary artery disease and they DON’T reduce your risk factors.

Talk with your cardiologist so you have a clear understanding of the risks and benefits of stent implantation. Keep close control of your risk factors for coronary heart disease including hypertension, high bad cholesterol (LDL), and smoking.

Angioplasty and stent placement – heart: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia

Amsterdam EA, Wenger NK, Brindis RG, et al. 2014 AHA/ACC guideline for the management of patients with non ST-elevation acute coronary syndromes: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2014;64(24):e139-e228. PMID: 25260718 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25260718.

Fihn SD, Blankenship JC, Alexander KP, et al. 2014 ACC/AHA/AATS/PCNA/SCAI/STS focused update of the guideline for the diagnosis and management of patients with stable ischemic heart disease. Circulation. 2014;130(19):1749–1767. PMID: 25070666 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25070666.

Mauri L, Bhatt DL. Percutaneous coronary intervention. In: Zipes DP, Libby P, Bonow RO, Mann DL, Tomaselli GF, Braunwald E, eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 62.

Morrow DA, de Lemos JA. Stable ischemic heart disease. In: Zipes DP, Libby P, Bonow RO, Mann DL, Tomaselli GF, Braunwald E, eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 61.

O'Gara PT, Kushner FG, Ascheim DD, et al. 2013 ACCF/AHA guideline for the management of ST-elevation myocardial infarction: a report of the American College of Cardiology Foundation/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines. Circulation. 2013;127(4):529-555. PMID: 23247303 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23247303.

All You Need to Know About Stents

  • Why We Have Them
  • Types
  • Innovations

Stents are small, expandable tubes that treat narrowed arteries in your body. In people with coronary heart disease caused by the buildup of plaque, they can:

These types are called heart stents, but they're also referred to as cardiac stents or coronary stents. Usually made of metal mesh, they’re put into arteries in a procedure called a percutaneous coronary intervention or, its more common name, angioplasty.

Performed with local anesthesia and mild sedation, angioplasty involves no major incisions and usually takes about an hour. If you need more than one stent, it can take longer.

Compared to coronary artery bypass surgery, which is much more invasive, people who get stents have less discomfort and a shorter recovery time.

But stenting isn't risk-free. A blood clot can form in one and cause your arteries to narrow again suddenly. It may even cause a complete blockage.

To prevent this, people take one or more blood-thinning drugs after they get a stent.

These can include aspirin, which usually must be taken indefinitely, and clopidogrel (Plavix), prasugrel (Effient), or ticagrelor (Brilinta), which are usually prescribed for at least 1 and up to 12 months.

Scar tissue or plaque can also form in the area of your stent. This can cause your artery to narrow again over a period of months. Your doctor may call this restenosis. If it happens, another stent can often solve the problem. In some cases, coronary artery bypass surgery may be needed.

In the late 1970s, doctors began using balloon angioplasty to treat coronary arteries that got too narrow.

A very thin, long, balloon-tipped tube, called a catheter, is put into an artery in either the groin or arm. It’s then moved to the blockage with help from an X-ray. Once it’s there, the balloon at the tip of the catheter is inflated to compress the blockage and get blood flow going. Then it’s deflated to allow the whole thing to be removed.

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Because no new support is left, in a small percentage of cases, the artery will regain its previous shape or even collapse after the balloon is deflated. About 30% of coronary arteries treated with balloon angioplasty get narrower again.

To help solve these problems, small stents were created that could be mounted on the balloon and put into a blood vessel. The stent expands when the balloon is inflated, locks into place, and forms a permanent scaffold to hold the artery open after the balloon is deflated and removed.

In 1986, French researchers implanted the first stent into a human coronary artery. Eight years later, the FDA approved the first heart stent for use in the U.S.

First-generation stents were made of bare metal. Although they almost eliminated the risk of the artery collapsing, they only modestly reduced the risk of re-narrowing. About a quarter of all coronary arteries treated with bare-metal stents would close up again, usually in about 6 months.

So doctors and companies began testing stents coated with drugs that interrupted the re-narrowing. These are called drug-eluting stents.

In clinical trials, these reduced re-narrowing cases to less than 10%. They also lowered the need for repeat procedures for people with diabetes, who have a bigger chance of their arteries getting narrow again.

Still, there were concerns that drug-eluting stents were associated with a rare but serious complication called in-stent thrombosis. This is where a blood clot forms in a stent one or more years after it's implanted.

Because this complication can be fatal, it’s important that people with drug-eluting stents take aspirin and an anticlotting drug as prescribed until a doctor tells them to stop.

In 2016, the FDA approved a new type of stent made of a special polymer that eventually dissolves into the body. This new stent releases a drug called everolimus, which limits the growth of scar tissue that can re-block the coronary artery.

The global market for coronary stents is projected to increase to $5.6 billion by 2020, the consulting firm GlobalData says.

Many new second- and third-generation stent designs are being developed, in clinical trials, or have been approved for use outside the U.S. These include:

  • One with a covering that delivers an anti-restenosis drug for months and then basically becomes a bare-metal stent
  • A version that is absorbed by the body and disappears after it has done its work
  • A stent that uses a coating to quickly create a thin, all-natural layer inside the artery
  • News release, FDA.
  • American Heart Association: “What Is a Stent?”
  • National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute/National Institutes of Health: “Stents.”

Angioplasty.org: “Drug-Eluting Stent Overview.”

GlobalData press release: “Global Coronary Stents Market to Witness Minimal Growth by 2020, says GlobalData,” December 2014.

© 2018 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved. Angioplasty and Stents

Recovering From Your Coronary Stent Procedure

Your cardiologist may prescribe medications to thin your blood and prevent blood clots from forming and adhering to the surface of the stent.

You should not stop taking these medications unless you are asked to stop by the doctor who implanted your stent.

If you stop taking these medications before being instructed to do so by your cardiologist, the chances of blood clot formation on the stent, subsequent heart attack or even death are increased. 

If surgery or dental work is recommended which would require you to stop taking these medications prematurely, you and your doctor should carefully consider the risks and benefits of this additional surgery or dental work versus the possible risks from early discontinuation of these medications. 

If you do require premature discontinuation of these medications because of significant bleeding, your cardiologist will carefully monitor you for possible complications. Once your condition has stabilized, your cardiologist will probably put you back on these medications. 

For more information about medications specific to your stent, please check out the patient guide for your stent model.

Your healthcare team will provide specific guidelines for when you should contact them. But be sure to call your doctor right away if you experience any of the following:

  • Chest pain (angina) or more severe or frequent chest discomfort, especially in the first month after your procedure, as these symptoms may indicate a re-narrowing of your coronary arteries
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sudden weakness or paralysis of the face, arm or leg
  • Pain, bleeding or infection at the entry site in your arm or leg
  • Any other unexplained symptoms 

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