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Current issues in coronary stent technology

Shedden, L. and Oldroyd, K. and Connolly, P. (2009) Current issues in coronary stent technology. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part H: Journal of Engineering in Medicine, 223 (5). pp. 515-524. ISSN 0954-4119

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Abstract

Coronary artery stents have become the medical device of choice for the treatment of coronary artery disease. Since their introduction in 1987, significant advances in stent technology have taken place. A major objective of these developments was the reduction of in-stent restenosis, the formation of neointimal tissue inside the stent triggered by vessel injury and the inflammatory response, which results in renarrowing of the coronary artery. Improvements in strut configuration, thickness, and materials have enhanced deliverability and reduced vessel damage. Currently available drug-eluting stents release drugs that reduce neointimal formation through the arrest of cell proliferation. Drug-eluting stents have significantly reduced rates of in-stent restenosis. However, concerns have been raised with respect to their long-term safety, particularly in relation to the occurrence of late thrombosis. The post-procedural monitoring of stent-related complications is also of interest, including the relative suitability of invasive techniques such as angiography and intravascular ultrasound, and non-invasive techniques such as computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging scanning. This paper reviews the current issues in stent technology.