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Update on Dedicated Bifurcation Stents


Address for reprints: Imad Sheiban, M.D., Interventional Cardiology, Division of Cardiology, University of Turin, S. Giovanni Battista “Molinette” Hospital, Corso Bramante 88-90, 10126 Turin, Italy. Fax: +39-0116967053; e-mail:


Coronary bifurcation lesions represent an area of ongoing challenge in interventional cardiology. Contemporary studies using drug-eluting stents report a reduction in main vessel (MV) restenosis; however, residual stenosis and restenosis at side-branch ostium remain an issue. Multiple two-stent bifurcation strategies exist, including T-stenting, V-stenting, simultaneous kissing stenting, culotte stenting, and crush stenting technique. Each strategy has its own advantages and disadvantages, but on the basis of results of numerous randomized trials, the provisional approach of implanting one stent on the main branch has became the default approach to most bifurcation lesions. Dedicated bifurcation stents have been designed to specifically address some of the shortcomings of the conventional percutaneous approach to bifurcation intervention. The majority of the devices are aimed at facilitating the provisional approach. Dedicated bifurcation stents should enable all operators to treat the side-branch ostium simultaneously with the main branch, preserving a safe, permanent access to side branch during the procedure. In the future, the use of these new devices will probably enhance the interaction between adequate mechanical scaffolding and accurate delivery of the appropriate dosage of any new antirestenosis drugs. There are currently 11 devices available that either have completed or are undergoing first-in-man trials. The development of further drug-eluting platforms and larger controlled studies should demonstrate their clinical applicability, efficacy, and safety before they are widely incorporated into daily practice.