Coronary Catheterization - Advances in Catheter Based Physical Treatments

Advances in Catheter Based Physical Treatments

Interventional procedures have been plagued by restenosis due to the formation of endothelial tissue overgrowth at the lesion site. Restenosis is the body's response to the injury of the vessel wall from angioplasty and to the stent as a foreign body. As assessed in clinical trials during the late 1980 and 1990s, using only balloon angioplasty (POBA, plain old balloon angioplasty), up to 50% of patients suffered significant restenosis but that percentage has dropped to the single to lower two digit range with the introduction of drug-eluting stents. Sirolimus, paclitaxel and everolimus are the three drugs used in coatings which are currently FDA approved in the United States. As opposed to bare metal, drug eluting stents are covered with a medicine that is slowly dispersed with the goal of suppressing the restenosis reaction. The key to the success of drug coating has been (a) choosing effective agents, (b) developing ways of adequately binding the drugs to the stainless surface of the stent struts (the coating must stay bound despite marked handling and stent deformation stresses) and (c) developing coating controlled release mechanisms that release the drug slowly over about 30 days. One of the newest innovations in coronary stents is the development of a dissolving stent. Abbott laboratories has used a dissolvable material, polylactic acid, that will completely absorb within 2 years of being implanted.

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