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A Journal on Cardiac, Vascular and Thoracic Surgery

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The Journal of Cardiovascular Surgery 2009 October;50(5):635-45

language: English

New stents for SFA

Minar E., Schillinger M.

Department of Angiology, Medical University Vienna, Austria


Endovascular stent implantation was introduced to femoropopliteal procedures almost two decades ago. Initial results with balloon-expandable stainless steel stents and self expanding Elgiloy stents, however, were disappointing. In particular, recurrence rates after long-segment femoropopliteal stenting were rather high, in the range of 60% to 80% at 1 year. After years of stagnation, recent developments in femoropopliteal stent technology have been promising. Self-expanding nitinol stents have been evaluated in several prospective studies. Initial problems with stent fractures seem to be resolved using second-generation devices. The second generation of Nitinol stents have an enhanced flexibility – particularly also in axial direction due to a reduction of cell interconnections and a more spiral orientation of the interconnections. However, until now there is no proof of any impact of the stent design on restenosis rate. Otherwise, stenting has been shown to be beneficial compared to balloon angioplasty especially in longer femoropopliteal lesions. The superior fracture resistance of the latest stent generation in combination with the production of long nitinol stents of up to 20 cm in length allow that more difficult and complex lesions can be treated endovascularly. The main unresolved problem with femoropopliteal stenting is the treatment of instent restenosis. Future concepts to further improve long-term patency after femoropopliteal stenting are therefore under investigation, including drug-eluting stents (DES), biodegradable stents, and coated stent-grafts. Stent grafts appear to be a viable option for the treatment of complex superficial femoral artery lesions, with comparable outcomes to prosthetic above-knee femoropopliteal bypass surgery. Concerning DES, we have to wait for the results of the ongoing studies.

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