Polymer-free stents do not provide additional benefits

Short and long-term safety and efficacy of polymer-free vs. durable polymer drug-eluting stents. A comprehensive meta-analysis of randomized trials including 6178 patients

Eliano P. Navarese, Mariusz Kowalewski, Bernardo Cortese, David Kandzari, Sofia Dias, Wojtek Wojakowski, Antonino Buffon, Alexandra Lansky, Paolo Angelini, Rebecca Torguson, Jacek Kubica, Malte Kelm, Menko-Jan de Boer, Ron Waksman, Harry Suryapranata




The efficacy and safety of polymer-free drug-eluting stents (DESs) in clinical practice is currently subject of debate; randomized trials (RCTs) conducted so far provided conflicting results or were underpowered to definitively address this question; we aimed to investigate the efficacy and safety profile of polymer-free vs. durable polymer DES by a comprehensive meta-analysis of RCTs.


MEDLINE, Google Scholar, EMBASE and Cochrane databases were searched for RCTs comparing polymer-free to durable polymer DES. Safety endpoints at short-term (≤1 year) and long-term follow-up (>1-year) were: death, myocardial infarction (MI) and stent thrombosis (ST); main efficacy endpoints were: target lesion revascularization (TLR) and target vessel revascularization (TVR).


Eight RCTs including 6178 patients were included. No significant differences in mortality were observed between polymer-free and durable polymer DESs at both short- and long-follow up (OR [95% CI] = 0.79 [0.58–1.08], p = 0.14; and 0.80 [0.58–1.10], p = 0.17 respectively); polymer free and durable polymer DESs provided comparable short and long-term MI rates; at short-term: OR [95% CI] = 1.13 [0.83–1.54], p = 0.44 and at long-term: OR [95% CI] = 1.27 [0.87–1.85], p = 0.22. Similarly, these two different devices proved equally effective in regards to ST, TLR and TVR over the short and long follow-up period.


Polymer-free DESs are as safe and effective as durable polymer DES; however, there is no evidence of any additional benefits provided by this new technology.