Drug-eluting stents: results, promises and problems

In-stent restenosis is the major drawback of percutaneous coronary interventions, occurring in 10–40% of the patients. Recently, new stents have emerged which are loaded with anti-inflammatory, anti-migratory, anti-proliferative or pro-healing drugs. These drugs are supposed to inhibit inflammation and neointimal growth and subsequently in-stent restenosis. In this review article the results of human clinical studies investigating drug-eluting stents are discussed from a clinical point of view, focussing on the efficacy in the prevention of restenosis and their potential side effects.
Both success and failure in the field of drug-eluting stents have been described. Successful devices are the sirolimus-eluting and the polymer-based paclitaxel-eluting stents. Potentially dangerous side effects of drug-eluting stents are adverse drug interactions, incomplete stent apposition and increased in-stent thrombosis rates. Demonstration of long-term efficacy is mandatory since in some animal studies a delayed healing has been observed. Currently, the successful drug-eluting stents are under investigation in all types of lesions.
We conclude that the results with some drug-eluting stents are promising, but further evidence on long-term efficacy and safety, also in high-risk subgroups, is needed.
Author Keywords: Drug-eluting stents; Restenosis; Side effects; Sirolimus; Paclitaxel

Department of Cardiology C5-P, Leiden University Medical Center, Albinusdreef 2, PO Box 9600, 2300 RC, Leiden, The Netherlandsb TNO Prevention and Health, Gaubius Laboratory, Leiden, The Netherlands
read on: International Journal of Cardiology Volume 99, Issue 1

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