Developments in coronary artery stenting: Primum non nocere
Panminerva Medica , Volume 53 - Issue 1 p. 19- 30
The occurrence of restenosis and acute vessel closure postballoon angioplasty was the driving force for the introduction of ' coronary artery stenting in the 1980s. Although the first generation of coronary artery stents were highly valuable and efficient in scaffolding (non-)threatened coronary vessels, they proved to be associated with iatrogenic side effects such as instent neointimal hyperplasia. The efforts to tackle these sideeffects eventually lead to the most significant progress within the field of interventional cardiology in the past decennium, namely drug-eluting stents (DES). Analysts estimate that the total amount of DES implantations worldwide will be more than 5 million this year. Although this worldwide increase in percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI) is impressive, some pitfalls such as the incidence of neointimal hyperplasia, stent fracture and a local hypersensitivity reaction against the polymer coating are worrisome. According to critics, the possible causal relationship with higher rates of very-late stent thrombosis could be a ticking time bomb. These concerns paved the way for the development of novel stents, ranging from DES with biodegradable polymer coating to completely biodegradable stents. Like all progress in medical interventions, it is essential to not harm the patient throughout this complex evolvement process of coronary stents. The current review not only discusses the benefits and safety issues associated with currently utilized coronary stents but in particular highlights novel coronary stents that are being investigated in (pre-)clinical trials at this moment.