Affiliation: Medical Faculty Mannheim, University Heidelberg, Theodor-Kutzer Ufer 1-3, 68167 Mannheim, Germany.
The interventional treatment of coronary artery disease was introduced in 1970`s by Andreas Grüntzig. The initial treatment strategy with plain old balloon angioplasty (POBA) was associated with high restenosis rates. The introduction of coronary stents, especially drug-eluting stents (DES) in 2002 has improved the results by lowering the rate of in-stent restenosis from 20-40% in the era of bare-metal stent (BMS) to 6-8%. However, in 2006 with the observation of late stent thrombosis the reputations of DES have decreased. However, improvements in stent design especially antiproliferative agents, polymeric agents as well as stent platforms improved newer generation DES. In controlled trials as well as registries the use of second-generation DES as compared to bare-metal stents (BMS) was associated with better clinical and angiographic results. A further development of these stents with use of biodegradable polymers, polymer-free stents, and biodegradable stents on the basis of poly L-lactide (PLLA) or magnesium resulted in third-generation DES and has been evaluated in preclinical and first clinical trials. However, to date, there is a lack of data comparing these thirdgeneration DES with first- and second-generatrion DES in a large scale.