Dissolvable Stents are the Technology of the Future, but Risky for Now!

What is a dissolvable stent?

Stents placed in the heart and used to keep the coronary vessels open are usually steel cages made of metal and remain in the body permanently. Bioresorbable stents are produced from completely dissolvable material and are absorbed by the body within 1-2 years, leaving no permanent implant behind. Unlike metal stents, they allow the vein to return to its natural contraction and relaxation function when absorbed by the body. Although experts think that dissolvable stents in coronary interventions are still the technology of the future, this technology is still in the development phase. To date, dissolvable stents have not shown any superiority over drug-eluting metal stents in routine use. Some recently published studies have shown that the results of resorbable stents may be worse than metal stents.

When did dissolvable stents begin to be used?

The fusible stent produced by Abbot received CE certification and began to be used worldwide in September 2012. It was approved by the FDA after 4 years due to hesitations about the thicker structures of the stents and the fact that it could take 3-4 years for them to be absorbed by the body. Although there is no problem with other resolvable stents and they can still be used, Abbot's resolvable stent was recently confiscated by the Ministry of Health in Turkey.

Are there any risks with resorbable stents?

When melting iron was first introduced, it was described as a revolution. In the first generation resorbable stents, sudden blockages (stent thrombosis) and a higher rate of heart attacks were observed due to the stent not being absorbed evenly within the vessel. Since stent thrombosis rates are higher, it does not seem appropriate to widely use Abbot's withdrawn stent or other dissolvable stents available on the market except for certain patients until more data and long-term results are available.

In conclusion:
Dissolvable stent technology is expected to be a serious area of use in the future, but time will pass and more research will need to be done until long-term results are proven. Dissolvable stents are not suitable for common daily use in routine coronary vascular interventions. It seems that proven, metal-bodied drug-eluting stents should be preferred in most patients instead of dissolvable drug-eluting stents.