New bioabsorbable stent now available in 100 countries, including US

By Liz Meszaros, MDLinx
Published August 22, 2016

Key Takeaways

The Absorb® stent (Absorb GT1 Bioresorbable Vascular Scaffold [BVS]; Abbott Laboratories, Abbott Park, IL) was approved in early July by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and is the first and only fully dissolvable stent that has been approved for the treatment of coronary artery disease.

Traditional stents are made of metal, but can raise the patient’s risk for inflammation that may lead to reclogging of the artery, can restrict natural vessel motion while they are in place, sometimes for the remaining lifetime of the stented patient, and may increase the risk of blood clots.

Absorb is comprised of a naturally dissolving material that is similar to dissolvable sutures. In 3 years, the Absorb stent disappears completely, gradually breaking down into water and carbon dioxide, and the stented vessel—having had time to heal—remains open on its own. Over two-third of patients who require stents qualify for the Absorb stent, which is intended for CAD patients with a reference vessel diameter of ≥ 2.5 mm and ≤ 3.75 mm.

Approval was based on worldwide clinical trials, in which Absorb showed comparable short- and mid-term outcomes to the leading metallic stent—Abbott’s Xience® drug-eluting stent. One of these trials was the ABSORB III randomized clinical trial comprised of approximately 2,000 patients in the US. Patients treated with the Absorb stent had similar rates of specific adverse events—including heart disease-related mortality, heart attacks caused by the stented artery, and repeat procedures at the treated lesion—compared with those who were treated with the Xience stent.

Absorb is currently available in over 100 countries. In Chicago, Loyola Medicine is one of the first to offer Absorb.

“Loyola has the expertise and necessary experience to treat patients with bioabsorbable stents,” said Fred Leya, MD, Loyola’s medical director of interventional cardiology. “Patients who are excellent candidates for it will be offered the bioabsorbable stent. Those who are not candidates for bioabsorbable stents will continue to receive excellent metal stents.”

To view the accompanying video on this new bioabsorbable stent, go to:

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