Drug-eluting stents (DES) have been shown to significantly reduce clinical and angiographic
restenosis compared to bare metal stents (BMS). The polymer coatings on DES elute antiproliferative
drugs to inhibit intimal proliferation and prevent restenosis after stent implantation.
Permanent polymers which do not degrade in vivo may increase the likelihood of stent-related delayed
arterial healing or polymer hypersensitivity. In turn, these limitations may contribute to an
increased risk of late clinical events. Intuitively, a polymer which degrades after completion of drug
release, leaving an inert metal scaffold in place, may improve arterial healing by removing a chronic
source of inflammation, neoatherosclerosis, and/or late thrombosis. In this way, a biodegradable
polymer may reduce late ischemic events. Additionally, improved healing after stent implantation
could reduce the requirement for long-term dual antiplatelet therapy and the associated risk of bleeding
and cost. This review will focus on bioabsorbable polymer-coated DES currently being evaluated
in clinical trials.
Keywords: Bioabsorbable polymer, drug-eluting stent, abluminal coating, BMS, clinical trials.
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