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Drug-Eluting Balloons: Coming of Age in the Periphery

Executive Summary

The jury is still on the ultimate utility of stenting and atherectomy in the distal periphery; meanwhile, all eyes are now on an extremely promising new technology that could be a game-changer for this arena: drug-eluting balloons. DEBs are basically angioplasty balloons coated with an antirestenosis drug that is delivered directly to the vessel wall at the time of balloon inflation. They offer numerous advantages over drug-eluting stents in the superficial femoral artery and distal vessels since they leave no implant behind in the vessel that can fracture or cause hypersensitivity reactions and they eliminate the worries of in-stent restenosis and late-stent thrombosis.They may also provide more uniform distribution of the antiproliferative drug in the vessel wall than stents.

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