Bioresorbable scaffolds versus metallic stents in routine PCI: the plot thickens
The evolution of percutaneous coronary revascularization, after this treatment was introduced in clinical practice in the form of balloon angioplasty, has been characterized by three landmarks, corresponding to the development and application of an equal number of specific device types. In terms of chronologic appearance, these developments can be broadly categorized as bare metal stents, drug eluting stents (DES) and finally bioresorbable scaffolds (BRS). Bare metal stents were able to overcome some of the major drawbacks of balloon angioplasty, most importantly acute vessel closure and recoil, but their application was still plagued by significant rates of restenosis. The introduction of DES, and most importantly their further development in the second generation iterations, effectively managed the problem of restenosis and also reduced to clinically acceptable levels the incidence of an unexpected problem encountered during the long-term follow-up of the first generation DES, namely late stent thrombosis.