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STENT FOR LIFE
Owens C. D., Gasper W. J., Conte M. S.
Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA
The endovascular management of symptomatic atherosclerotic superficial femoral artery (SFA) disease is challenging and requires consideration of unique anatomical, hemodynamic, and biomechanical factors. The current armamentarium of balloon catheters and flexible nitinol bare metal stents have limited long-term efficacy due to intimal hyperplasia resulting in restenosis. Unfortunately, the remarkably low restenosis rates achieved with drug eluting stents placed in the coronary vasculature has not been replicated in the femoral artery. The reason for this is multifactorial including delivery platforms, drug and dosage selection and trial design flaws. Currently, however, there are several novel therapies and delivery platforms in the development pipeline that have exhibited biologic effectiveness in preclinical and early clinical trials. While these offer promise in improving outcomes following lower extremity intervention, caution is warranted until the safety of these new technologies can be ensured.