Drug-eluting stents

Annu Rev Med. 2004;55:169-78. doi: 10.1146/annurev.med.55.091902.105243.


Advances in catheter and stent design have made stent implantation the standard coronary angioplasty procedure. Unfortunately, in-stent restenosis continues to plague this procedure, with the optimum binary restenosis rates reaching ~10% to 20%. In the past few years, it has become clear that in-stent restenosis is largely due to the migration and proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells to form a neointima. To address this issue, stents coated with drug-delivery vehicles have been developed to deliver antiproliferative therapeutics. Two drugs, rapamycin and taxol, have been the lead compounds for testing the idea of a drug-eluting stent. These drugs have been successful largely because of the solid mechanistic understanding of their effects and extensive preclinical examination. The result of these years of work is that the rapamycin-coated stent entered the US market in April of 2003, and the taxol-coated stent appears poised to follow soon.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Drug Delivery Systems*
  • Drug Implants*
  • Graft Occlusion, Vascular / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Stents*


  • Drug Implants