Glossary of Terms
Used in Connection with Drug-Eluting Stents

 

A-B

Abluminal Coating
A coating of the outer surface of the stent only. This means that much less drug and polymer are used than if the inner surface of the stent is also coated, and the drug is located only where it is needed: on the surface that is in contact with the blood vessel wall.

Angina Pectoris
Chest pain caused by an inadequate supply of blood to the heart.

Angioplasty
A procedure in which a physician threads a catheter through blood vessels leading to the heart and uses a balloon or other device attached to the tip of the catheter to widen coronary arteries that have been narrowed by coronary artery disease.

Angiography
Medical imaging technique used to visualise the lumen of blood vessels.

Anticoagulan
A blood thinning agent used to prevent or reduce clotting.

Antirestenotic drug
A drug used to prevent restenosis following stent insertion.

Artery
A blood vessel that carries blood away from the heart to various parts of the body. Arteries usually carry oxygenated blood - except for the pulmonary artery, which carries un-oxygenated blood from the heart to the lungs for oxygenation.

Atherosclerosis
Narrowing or blockage of arteries caused by a build-up of fat (cholesterol) within the artery wall. This build-up is sometimes referred to as plaque.

Bare-metal stent (BMS)
A stent which has not been coated with an antirestenotic drug.

Bifurcation lesion
A lesion that occurs at the intersection of two blood vessels.

Biodegradable polymer
A stent coating which is broken down by the body to natural waste products once it has released all of the drug it contains, leaving a bare-metal stent.

Biolimus A9
An antirestenotic drug, belonging to the limus class, used in the BioMatrix family of DES.


C-D

Cardiac catheterisation
A diagnostic procedure in which a tiny, hollow tube (catheter) is advanced from a vessel in the groin through the aorta into the heart in order to image the heart and blood vessels.

Catheter
A tube for insertion into a body cavity for introducing or removing a substance. A balloon-tipped catheter is a tube with a balloon at its tip that can be inflated or deflated without removal after installation.

Coronary angiography
An imaging technique that determines the location and extent of coronary artery disease; a small catheter is inserted through the skin into an artery in either the groin or the arm. Guided with the assistance of a fluoroscope (a special x-ray viewing instrument), the catheter is then advanced to the opening of the coronary arteries, the blood vessels supplying blood to the heart. Next, a solution containing iodine, which shows up on an x-ray image, is injected into each coronary artery. The images that are produced are called the angiogram.

Coronary angioplasty
A minimally invasive procedure used to unblock an artery clogged with plaque; its full name is percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA): it is also known as percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI).

Coronary artery
An artery that supplies oxygenated blood to the heart.

Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG)
An operation performed to circumvent blocked coronary arteries and deliver/redirect blood to areas of the heart receiving insufficient blood flow. Also referred to as coronary bypass surgery.

Coronary artery disease (CAD)
A heart condition caused by narrowing of the coronary arteries and characterized by a decreased blood supply to the heart. Also called ischemic heart disease or coronary heart disease.

Deliverability
The ease with which a stent can be guided through the arteries to reach the site where it is required.

Drug-coated stent (DCS)
A stent directly coated with an antirestenotic drug without the use of a polymer.

Drug-eluting stent (DES)
A stent coated with a polymer incorporating an antirestenotic drug that is released ("eluted") into surrounding tissue.

Dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT)
The combination of aspirin and a second anticlotting drug such as clopidogrel to reduce the risk of blood clots following stent insertion.


E-K

Endothelialization
The growth of endothelium over the stent, which starts to occur some months after insertion, to incorporate it into the artery wall and reduce the risk of thrombus formation.

Endothelium
The cells that make up the smooth inner lining of many body structures, including the heart (endocardium) and blood vessels.

Femoral artery
An artery in the leg where a catheter is inserted, providing an access point for the balloon and stent.

Guidewire
A specially designed wire used to guide the placement of a catheter or lead into a blood vessel.

Hydrophobic
Lacking affinity for water.

Hyperplasia
Excessive tissue formation.

Ischemia
Oxygen deprivation of tissue, usually due to constriction or obstruction of an artery.


L-O

Late loss
Difference in lumen diameter after intervention and at follow-up.

Lipophilic
Having an affinity for lipids (as fats).

Late stent thrombosis
A blood clot that forms within the stent between a month and a year following insertion.

Lesion
A blockage in a blood vessel that is restricting blood flow to the heart, often due to plaque: also known as a stenosis.

Limus
A class of antirestenotic drug.

Lumen
The cavity inside a blood vessel.

Major adverse cardiac events (MACE)
A measure of a stent’s safety and efficacy used in clinical trials. It includes death, myocardial infarction and target vessel revascularization (TVR).

Malapposition
When a stent is not positioned correctly right up against the interior wall of the artery.

Myocardial Infarction (MI)
Death of an area of heart tissue due to a blockage of blood flow to the heart muscle (myocardium). Symptoms may include nausea, shortness of breath, and pain in the chest, arm, or neck. Commonly known as a ‘heart attack’.

Neointimal hyperplasia
The proliferation of cells in the intima, the smooth muscle wall of the artery.

Occlusion
Blockage of the artery.

Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT)
A technique for obtaining high-definition 3D images of internal body tissue: used to assess the extent of stent endothelialisation.

Over-the-wire (OTW) catheter
Balloon dilatation catheter that is delivered over a separate guide wire to position the catheter in a specific place.


P-R

Percutaneous Transluminal Coronary Angioplasty (PTCA)
A minimally invasive procedure whereby a balloon dilatation catheter is passed through to the blocked area of an artery. Once inflated, the catheter compresses the plaque against the blood vessel wall, re-establishing blood flow. PTCA also can be performed with a stent.

Plaque
The deposits of fat, cholesterol, and other substances that are characteristic of atherosclerosis which causes the walls of the arteries to become narrowed.

Platelet
Constituents of the blood that play a key role in the clotting mechanism.

Polymer
A compound that coats a stent and holds the antirestenotic drug, which it gradually releases.

Restenosis
The re-narrowing or re-constriction of a blood vessel or valve in the heart, especially following PCTA.

Revascularization
A procedure to unblock or bypass a clogged artery (angioplasty or CAGB).


S-Z

ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI)
A common type of myocardial infarction (heart attack) as defined by ECG reading.

Stenosis
The narrowing or constriction of a blood vessel or valve in the heart.

Stent
A small, metal device inserted by a catheter into a narrowed artery wall and then left in place, to help keep the artery open.

Stent thrombosis
A blood clot that forms within the stent; categorized as early stent thrombosis (up to a month after stent insertion), late stent thrombosis (one month to a year after stent insertion) and very late stent thrombosis (more than a year after stent insertion).

Target lesion revascularization (TLR)
Any repeat revascularization required for a previously-treated lesion.

Target vessel revascularization (TVR)
Revascularization required for a lesion occurring in the same artery as the previous-treated lesion.

Thrombosis
A blood clot that forms inside a blood vessel or cavity of the heart and can potentially stop blood flow.

Thrombus
Blood clot.

Transluminal
Passing across or performed by way of a vessel lumen.

Very late stent thrombosis (VLST)
A blood clot that forms within the stent one year or more after insertion.