The introduction of percutaneous treatment of coronary artery stenosis with balloon angioplasty was the first revolution in interventional cardiology; the advent of metallic coronary stents (bare and drug-eluting) marked the second and third revolutions. However, the latest generation of drug-eluting stents is limited by several factors. Permanent vessel caging impairs arterial physiology, and the incidence of very late stent thrombosis-although lower with the second generation than with the first generation of drug-eluting stents-remains a major concern. This complication is mainly related to the presence of permanent metallic implants, chronic degeneration triggered by an inflammatory response to the coating polymer, and/or adverse effects of antiproliferative drugs on endothelial regeneration. In 2011, self-degrading coronary stents-the bioresorbable vascular scaffolds (BVS)-were introduced into clinical practice, showing good short-term results owing to their adequate strength. The advantage of these devices is the transient nature of vascular scaffolding, which avoids permanent vessel caging. In this Review, we summarize the latest research on BVS, with a particular emphasis on the implantation technique (which is different from that used with metallic stents) to outline the concept that BVS deployment methods have a major effect on procedural success and prognosis of patients with coronary artery stenosis. Furthermore, the clinical outcome of BVS in randomized clinical trials and in phase IV studies are discussed in different pathophysiological settings, such as stable or acute coronary disease. Finally, all the available data on the safety profile of BVS regarding scaffold thrombosis are discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine