March 17, 2009

Study: Bioabsorbable stents show promise

A Swiss interventional cardiology specialist says a two-year study of bioabsorbable coronary stents indicates the devices show promise.

Professor Franz Eberli from the University Hospital of Zurich, Switzerland, said that in addition to the study presenting the longest ever follow-up data for a bioabsorbable stent, the investigators used multiple imaging systems, including optical coherence tomography, that allowed them to obtain very detailed images of the intra coronary structures for the first time.

What really impressed me was the smoothness of the vessel wall at two years and images showing the stents had disappeared to a great extent, which was a very promising finding, said Eberli, an official spokesman for the European Society of Cardiology.

This is a proof of principle study that teaches us a lot about the way bioabsorbable stents work and affect remodeling of the stented vessel segment, said Eberli. But with only 30 patients included in the study, numbers are too small to show us if the technology is safe. Furthermore the study was only performed in patients with single de novo coronary lesions, who are considered by far the most straight forward cases. The study doesn't show us if the new stent will work in real world situations of patients with long lesions, calcification or bifurcations.

The research is detailed in the online edition of The Lancet.