Background: Metallic stents change permanently the mechanical properties of the vessel wall. However little is known about the implications of bioresorbable vascular scaffolds (BVS) on the vessel wall strain. Methods: Patients (n = 53) implanted with an Absorb BVS that had palpographic evaluation at any time point [before device implantation, immediate after treatment, at short-term (6-12 months) or mid-term follow-up (24-36 months)] were included in the current analysis. The palpographic data were used to estimate the mean of the maximum strain values and the obtained measurements were classified using the Rotterdam classification (ROC) score and expressed as ROC/mm. Results: Scaffold implantation led to a significant decrease of the vessel wall strain in the treated segment [0.35 (0.20, 0.38) vs. 0.19 (0.09, 0.29); P = 0.005] but it did not affect the proximal and distal edge. In patients who had serial palpographic examination the vessel wall strain continued to decrease in the scaffolded segment at short-term [0.20 (0.12, 0.29) vs. 0.14 (0.08, 0.20); P = 0.048] and mid-term follow-up [0.20 (0.12, 0.29) vs. 0.15 (0.10, 0.19), P = 0.024]. No changes were noted with time in the mechanical properties of the vessel wall at the proximal and distal edge. Conclusions: Absorb BVS implantation results in a permanent alteration of the mechanical properties of the vessel wall in the treated segment. Long term follow-up data are needed in order to examine the clinical implications of these findings.
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