Drug-Eluting Balloons in the Treatment of Coronary De Novo Lesions: A Comprehensive Review

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Drug-eluting balloons (DEBs) have emerged as a new application in percutaneous coronary intervention. DEBs have proven successful in the treatment of in-stent restenosis, but their role in de novo lesions is less clear. This paper provides a review of the current studies where DEBs have been used in coronary de novo lesions, either as part of a DEB-only strategy or in combination with another device, mainly a bare metal stent (BMS). By searching Pubmed and Embase we were able to identify 52 relevant studies, differing in design, intervention, and clinical setting, including patients with small vessel disease, bifurcation lesions, complex long lesions, acute myocardial infarction, diabetes mellitus, and elderly. In 23 studies, a DEB was combined with a BMS, 25 studies used a DEB-only strategy with only provisional BMS implantation, and four studies combined a DEB with a drug-eluting stent (DES). In the vast majority of studies, DEB in combination with BMS does not seem to improve clinical or angiographic outcome compared with DES, whereas a DEB-only strategy seems promising, especially when predilatation and geographical mismatch are taken into account. A lower risk of recurrent thrombosis with DEB compared with DES is not evident from the current studies. In conclusion, the main indication for DEB seems to be small vessel disease, especially in clinical scenarios in which a contraindication to dual antiplatelet therapy exists. The main approach should be a DEB-only strategy with only provisional bailout stenting, which has shown interesting results in different clinical scenarios. In general, larger randomized controlled studies with prolonged follow-up comparing DEB with best in class DES are warranted. Technical developments of DEBs including the use of different drugs might potentially improve the efficacy of such treatment.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCardiology and Therapy
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)133-160
Number of pages28
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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