Published Date : Jun 13, 2016
Stents are extensively used for treating blocked arteries. These tiny and expandable mesh tubes help to keep the arteries open. Metallic stents are the most commonly used stents for the treatment of coronary and peripheral artery diseases. However, these stents pose limitations such as stent thrombosis and mismatch of the stent to the size of the vessel. While stent thrombosis requires prolonged anti-platelet therapy, the mismatch of the stent to the vessel size leads to a smaller lumen after stent implantation. Furthermore, metallic stents interfere with the modern imaging technologies such as multislice computerized tomography (MSCT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). As a result, the demand for biodegradable stents has increased as these stents significantly reduce the risks of adverse thrombotic events and completely degrade after a certain period.
How safe are Biodegradable Stents?
The growing prevalence of peripheral and coronary artery diseases has boosted the demand for biodegradable stents. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cardiovascular diseases such as peripheral arterial disease, coronary heart disease, deep vein thrombosis, and congenital heart disease are the primary cause of natural death across the globe. In 2012, an estimated 17.5 mn people died from cardiovascular diseases, thereby accounting for 31% of all global deaths. Of these deaths, about 7.4 mn were due to coronary heart disease. The rising popularity of biodegradable stents for cardiovascular disease management has propelled the growth of the global biodegradable stents market. Biodegradable stents eliminate the need for dual anti-platelet therapies and treat coronary artery diseases effectively. However, there are drawbacks associated with the implantation of biodegradable stents. For example, the strength of polymeric biodegradable stents is lower compared to the conventional metallic stents. Unfavourable reimbursement policies have been also detrimental in the growth of the market.