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EuroIntervention. 2009 Dec 15;5 Suppl F:F36-42. doi: 10.4244/EIJV5IFA6.

Coating bioabsorption and chronic bare metal scaffolding versus fully bioabsorbable stent.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Washington Hospital Center, 10 Irving Street NW, Washington, DC 20010, USA.


Advances in coronary stent technology, including refinement of the stent alloy, strut thickness, stent geometry, passive coating, and drug elution, have dramatically enhanced the safety and efficacy of percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) with stenting. Stents are currently used in over 90% of coronary interventions and the use of drug-eluting stents (DES) has been disseminated to more complex lesion subsets such as total occlusions, long lesions, bifurcation lesions, and for patients with acute myocardial infarction. DES continue to demonstrate reduction in restenosis and the need for repeat revascularisation but are associated with delayed healing and re-endothelialisation, which have led to an increased rates of late stent thrombosis, dependency on prolonged dual antiplatelet therapy, impaired in-vessel reactivity, and chronic inflammation. As scientists and clinicians better understand the mechanism for late restenosis and stent thrombosis, a variety of solutions in regard to stent technology have been proposed, including stent coating, polymer bioabsorption, and fully biodegradable stents. Bare metal stents were improved by the reduction of strut thickness, changes in stent geometry, and the addition of passive coating, which lead to improvements in efficacy and reduction of restenosis. In addition, there is continued improvement in the polymer technology for DES, including new biocompatible, thinner durable polymers, and bioabsorbable polymers that completely bioabsorb within 3-12 months after stent implantation. These features potentially minimise the chronic inflammatory response and late stent thrombosis. Finally, fully bioabsorbable stents, both polymeric and metallic, continue to be developed in order to eliminate any late stenting effects and potentially may enable complete vessel restoration. This manuscript will discuss the wide variety of new stent technologies and compare and contrast durable metallic and polymeric stents to current biodegradable stent technology.

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