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Minerva Cardioangiologica 2008 February;56(1):89-105

Copyright © 2008 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Review of percutaneous therapy for bifurcation lesions in the era of drug-eluting stents

Presbitero P., Zavalloni D., Pagnotta P., Belli G., Rossi M. L., Gasparini G. L., Lisignoli V.

Saint Joseph’s Translational Research Institute Saint Joseph’s Hospital of Atlanta Atlanta, GA, USA


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Although recent advances in percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI) have led to dramatic expansions in procedural complexity, bifurcation lesions (BL) remain a serious challenge for the interventionalist. Turbulent flow dynamics and high shear stress likely predispose coronary bifurcations to development of atherosclerotic plaques. These lesions comprise 15% to 20% of the total number of coronary interventions. When compared with non-BL interventions, BL interventions demonstrate lower procedural success rates, higher procedural costs, longer hospitalizations, and higher clinical and angiographic restenosis rates. The recent introduction of drug-eluting stents (DES) has resulted in lower incidences of target lesion/ vessel revascularization and reduction of main branch restenosis in this anatomic subset, when compared to historical bare metal stent (BMS) controls. Nonetheless, DES have not resolved the bifurcation PCI problem; and several techniques employing either 1 or 2 stents have emerged. Stenting of the main vessel with provisional side branch stenting seems to be the prevailing approach. While no definitive single BL-PCI technique has been identified, the optimal approach is likely lesion-specific. This paper reviews different treatment modalities for this complex lesion subset, with particular emphasis on the use of DES, as well as new potential therapeutic approaches.

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