Expert review of cardiovascular therapy vol:2 issue:5 pages:653-60
The long-term efficacy of percutaneous coronary interventions is still hampered by restenosis. Restenosis is the result of a complex pathophysiological process, which is thought to be caused by an exaggerated healing response induced by the vascular injury caused by the percutaneous coronary interventions and the implantation of a foreign body (the stent). There is increasing evidence that inflammation plays an important role in the initiation and development of neointimal hyperplasia and subsequent restenosis. Dexamethasone (Decadron, Merck Sharpe and Dohme Ltd) is a glucocorticoid with well-known potent anti-inflammatory and antiproliferative properties. Early studies using either systemic or local delivery of dexamethasone have shown limited beneficial effects on restenosis. The dexamethasone-eluting stent (Dexamet, Abbott Vascular Devices Ltd) is one of the first generation of drug-eluting stents for local drug delivery to prevent restenosis. Preclinical studies demonstrated that implantation of dexamethasone-loaded coronary stents was safe and had a beneficial effect on stent implantation-related inflammation. A pilot trial suggested a beneficial effect on restenosis. Large randomized trials are underway to confirm these findings. This article reviews the potential role of inflammation in the pathogenesis of restenosis and the efficacy of dexamethasone in the prevention of restenosis.