Scanning electron microscopic analysis of different drug eluting stents after failed implantation: from nearly undamaged to major damaged polymers.
BACKGROUND: Implantation of drug eluting stents (DES) in tortuous and/or calcified vessels is much more demanding compared with implantation of bare metal stents (BMS) due to their larger diameters. It is unknown whether drug eluting stent coatings get damaged while crossing these lesions. METHODS: In 42 patients (34 male, 68.1 +/- 10 years) with 45 calcified lesions (15.9 mm +/- 7.9 mm), DES could not be implanted, even after predilatation. Diabetes was present in 19 patients (45%). Sixty-one stents were used; 19 Cypher select, 18 Taxus Liberté, 10 CoStar, 5 Endeavor RX, 4 Xience V. 3 Janus Carbostent, 1 Yukon Choice S, and 1 Axxion DES. The entire accessible surface area of these stents, in either the unexpanded and expanded state, were examined with an environmental scanning electron microscope (XL30 ESEM, Philips) to evaluate polymer or surface damage. RESULTS: The polymers of Taxus Liberte, Cypher Select, Xience V, CoStar, and Janus DES were only slightly damaged (less than 3% of surface area), whereas the Endeavor RX Stents showed up to 20% damaged surface area. In DES without a polymer (Yukon and Axxion), it could be shown that most of the stent surface (up to 40%) were without any layer of drug. CONCLUSION: Placement of drug eluting stents in tortuous vessels and/or calcified lesions could cause major surface damage by scratching and scraping of the polymer or drug by the arterial wall, even before implantation. There were remarkable differences among the stents examined, only minor damage with the Cypher, Taxus Costar, Janus, and Xience V, whereas the Endeavor, the Yukon, and the Janus DES showed large areas of surface injury. Copyright 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
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