The Journal of Bucharest College of Physicians and the Romanian Academy of Medical Sciences



Conventional based methods of catheter removal of arterial blockages formed during the process of atherosclerosis often result in production of a series of rapidly occurring events which follow the balloon catheter-induced tearing of the existing atherosclerotic plaques and concomitant arterial damage and luminal destruction and ending with significant lumen narrowing within a period of around 6 months (between 4-10% of cases following endarterectomy and approximately 33% of cases in coronary arteries for example
Fig. 1).
The more recent introduction of stents has helped to resolve/reduce some of the problems associated with balloon angioplasty, in that it provides a scaffold which can prevent constriction from the intima, and when coated with anti-proliferative or anti-inflammatory drugs, can significantly slow down the process of in-stent restenosis. However, angiographic restenosis (>50%) and clinical symptomatic restenosis still occurs in 20-30% and 10-15% of patients respectively in the first year after treatment (1), and evidence has shown that there is no significant difference in long-term (3-5 years) follow up regarding subsequent myocardial infarction and death (2).