Fully bioresorbable vascular scaffolds: lessons learned and future directions


Fully bioresorbable scaffolds (BRS) were designed to overcome the limitations of metallic drug-eluting stents, which permanently cage the vessel wall, thereby preventing normal coronary vasomotion, preclude bypass grafting and can provoke long-term foreign-body responses. Although multiple scaffolds have been or are in development, the Absorb Bioresorbable Vascular Scaffold (BVS; Abbott Vascular) was the first FDA-approved device and was widely expected to fulfil the dream of interventional cardiologists of a transient scaffold that would disappear ‘when the job was done’ and would not hamper further treatment options. Although early, small studies and even large, randomized trials showed beneficial outcomes up to 1 year of follow-up, longer-term results have been disappointing, with increased rates of device thrombosis and target-lesion revascularization. The Absorb BVS device was withdrawn from the market because of low demand. In this Review, we summarize the preclinical and clinical data available for BRS to understand how the vascular biological reactions to these devices differ from biological reactions to metallic drug-eluting stents and how these responses translate into clinical outcomes. We also discuss next-generation BRS and outline modifications that are needed to improve the long-term outcomes with these devices so that they eventually become a viable option for patients with symptomatic obstructive coronary artery disease.

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Jinnouchi H, Torii S, Sakamoto A, et al. Nat Rev Cardiol 2019;166:286–304