This year's Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT) conference in Washington was filled with many exciting trial results on the latest innovations in cardiology. Here's a quick overview on the most talked-about devices:
Bioresorbable Vascular Scaffold (BVS)
The ABSORB family of trials dominated discussions in Washington this year with more results on the bioresorbably vascular scaffold (BVS), one of the latest innovations in interventional cardiology devices. In addition to presenting the 2 year results of ABSORB BVS, Abbott Laboratories also introduced its pivotal trial for FDA approval (ABSORB III) as well as its ABSORB IV superiority trial over the gold-standard stent, the XIENCE. Not to be overshadowed were results from Elixir Medical's next-generation DESOLVE BVS with features including thinner struts, self-correction, fraction resistance and earlier reabsorption.
Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)
TAVR was a hot topic of debate at this year's TCT, being just one year since its FDA approval in 2013. Discussions were particularly heated regarding the FDA's rigorous approval process and its implications in potentially delaying the availability of life-saving novel technologies such as TAVR. This was spurred by the various clinical trials that were presented supporting the adoption of the technology such as Edward Lifesciences PARTNER II trial and Medtronic's CoreValve trial.
Drug coated balloon (DCB)
Saving the best for last, DCB was the most talked about technology in my opinion with three note-worthy trials in both the coronary and peripheral vascular spaces. The surprising results of RIBS IV indicating that drug coated balloons (DES) is preferred over DCBs for coronary DES in-stent restenosis (ISR) really sets the stage for DCB's even further limited role in coronary interventions. Things are still looking up for DCBs in the peripheral side though with the LEVANT II trials showing that DCBs are better than standard plain old balloon angioplasty (POBA) while the EXCITE ISR results support the use of atherectomy + percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA) for fempop ISR over PTA alone.
Looking forward, 2015 will be the year to see the real-world use of these devices.