Coronary artery stenting is currently the most frequently performed percutaneous coronary intervention for the treatment of coronary artery disease. Recently, drug- eluting stents, loaded with anti-inflammatory, anti-migratory, antiproliferative or pro-healing drugs, have revolutionized the management of coronary artery disease by markedly reducing in-stent restenosis. Despite the excellent short- and mid-term results of randomized controlled trials observed with drugeluting stents, there remain a number of unresolved issues and valid concerns about long-term safety and efficacy of this revolutionary technology. Important safety issues such as thrombosis, late stent malapposition, aneurysm formation, edge effect, late inflammation due to choice of polymer used to bind the drug, the release of toxins, and potential interactions with brachytherapy and drugs have not been completely addressed. This review article evaluates current available scientific evidence on the various safety issues related to the use of drug-eluting stents.
Keywords: Stent, in-stent restenosis, percutaneous coronary intervention, drug-eluting stents, thrombosis