Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate the feasibility of using quantitative differential echogenicity to monitor the in vivo absorption process of a drug-eluting poly-l-lactic-acid (PLLA) bioabsorbable stent (BVS, Abbott Vascular, Santa Clara, CA). Background: A new bioabsorbable, balloon-expanded coronary stent was recently evaluated in a first-in-man study. Little is known about the absorption process in vivo in diseased human coronary arteries. Methods: In the ABSORB (Clinical Evaluation of the BVS everolimus eluting stent system) study, 30 patients underwent treatment with the BVS coronary stent system and were examined with intracoronary ultrasound (ICUS) after implantation, at 6 months and at 2-year follow-up. Quantitative ICUS was used to measure dimensional changes, and automated ICUS-based tissue composition software (differential echogenicity) was used to quantify plaque compositional changes over time in the treated regions. Results: The BVS struts appeared as bright hyperechogenic structures and showed a continuous decrease of their echogenicity over time, most likely due to the polymer degradation process. In 12 patients in whom pre-implantation ICUS was available, at 2 years the percentage-hyperechogenic tissue was close to pre-implantation values, indicating that the absorption process was either completed or the remaining material was no longer differentially echogenic from surrounding tissues. Conclusions: Quantitative differential echogenicity is a useful plaque compositional measurement tool. Furthermore, it seems to be valuable for monitoring the absorption process of bioabsorbable coronary stents made of semi-crystalline polymers.

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Keywords coronary artery disease, intravascular ultrasound, quantification, stents
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcin.2010.02.004, hdl.handle.net/1765/28700
Journal JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions
Bruining, N, de Winter, S, Roelandt, J.R.T.C, Regar, E.S, Heller, I, van Domburg, R.T, … Serruys, P.W.J.C. (2010). Monitoring in vivo absorption of a drug-eluting bioabsorbable stent with intravascular ultrasound-derived parameters: A feasibility study. JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions, 3(4), 449–456. doi:10.1016/j.jcin.2010.02.004