Did you know that every 36 seconds, one person in the United States dies from cardiovascular disease?1 Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the most common type of cardiovascular disease and is characterized by a build-up of plaque in the arteries leading to a decreased blood supply to the heart and limbs. Early interventions such as medication or lifestyle changes can help to improve heart efficiency but do not improve the arteries already impacted by the buildup of plaque.
A primary intervention for treating CAD involves the insertion of a coronary stent into the narrowed diseased artery. Once inserted, the stent helps the artery to remain open and allow blood flow to the heart to be restored. Bare metal stents were introduced in the early nineties as an initial solution but experienced challenges in terms of in-stent restenosis and thrombosis occurrence. To help address some of these challenges, drug eluting stents (DES) were introduced in 2002 to provide a safer option and improved outcome for the patient.2