Biodegradable Stents Hold Up

Mon, 05/21/2012 - 7:37am
Crystal Phend


The next generation of drug-eluting stents that do a disappearing act, whether with a biodegradable polymer or an entirely bioabsorbable platform, appears to be holding up to conventional stents over the short term.

Trials with the novel or newer stents reported here at the EuroPCR meeting almost uniformly found noninferiority to their durable comparators.

"The problem is, today's stents are so good -- they are actually excellent -- that it's very difficult to demonstrate superiority," commented Kari Niemelä, M.D., of Tampere University Hospital in Tampere, Finland.

To drive late risks of the stents even lower, one idea has been to get rid of the polymer holding the eluted drug after the drug wears off, since that polymer may be associated with chronic inflammation in the vessel leading to stenosis or other events.

However, any real advantage to doing away with a durable polymer would likely show up later, after stopping antiplatelet therapy at 1 year, Junbo Ge, M.D., of the Shanghai Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases in Shanghai, China, noted.

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