AIMS: Durable polymer drug-eluting stents (DP-DES) may contribute to persistent inflammation, delayed endothelial healing and subsequent late DES thrombosis. The aim of this optical coherence tomography (OCT) substudy was to compare healing and neointimal coverage of a novel bioabsorbable polymer sirolimus-eluting stent (Firehawk®) (BP-DES) versus the DP-DES (XIENCE) at 90 days in an all-comers patient population.
METHODS AND RESULTS: The TARGET All Comers study is a prospective multicentre randomised post-market trial of 1,656 patients randomised 1:1 to Firehawk or XIENCE at 21 centres in 10 European countries. The TARGET OCT substudy enrolled 36 consecutive patients with 52 lesions at six centres proficient in OCT. Follow-up OCT was performed at three months or prior to revascularisation when occurring before the three-month window. The substudy was designed for non-inferiority of the primary endpoint of neointimal thickness. At follow-up, the mean neointimal thickness by OCT (52 lesions: Firehawk, n=24; XIENCE, n=28), was not significantly different between groups (Firehawk 75.5 μm vs. XIENCE V 82.3 μm) meeting the primary endpoint of non-inferiority (pnoninferiority<0.001). The percentage of stent strut coverage was high in both groups (strut level: 99.9±0.3% vs. 100±0.1%, p=0.26), and the proportion of malapposed struts (1.0±1.6% vs. 1.2±2.0%, p=0.51) was low in both groups.
CONCLUSIONS: Based on OCT, the Firehawk BP-DES has a similar healing response three months after implantation compared to the DP-DES, with near complete strut coverage, moderate neointima formation and minimal strut malapposition.