Interventional Cardiology is a subspecialty of cardiology focused on the diagnosis and treatment of patients with acute and chronic forms of cardiovascular disease amenable to catheter-based therapy techniques such as balloon angioplasty and coronary artery stent deployment.
Beginning almost three decades ago, interventional cardiology as a field gave doctors new ways to treat cardiac disease states. Since then the field has evolved through several iterations, and each new generation has offered advances in efficacy. At the same time however, a focus on safety has highlighted the need for further improvements.
As an example, the evolution of bare-metal stents resulted in improved long-term efficacy relative to balloon angioplasty and was lauded for the acute safety of the procedure. However, when restenosis became associated with the use of bare metal stents, the next logical progression was drug-eluting stents that were capable of delivering appropriate anti-restenosis drugs to the stent area. However, studies showed the risk of a rare but serious complication (late-stent thrombosis) related to the use of durable polymers in drug-eluting stents, which prompted hearings held by the Food and Drug Administration and a clinical alert released by the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions. While the FDA is supporting expanded studies to further understand the correlation, it is a belief widely held by physicians that patients selected for drug-eluting stent usage must be encouraged to consistently use extended antiplatelet therapy to avoid potential adverse reactions.
Now, Micell Technologies is developing a next-generation stent that combines the long-term safety characteristics of the bare metal stent with the potential clinical advantages of a sirolimus-eluting stent using a bioabsorbable polymer.