Side branches are frequently related to periprocedural complications. Considering any side branches >1 millimetres (mm), side branch occlusion or reduced flow may occur in approximately 10 % of interventional procedures. First data indicate that bioresorbable vascular scaffolds (BVS) behave similar compared with modern drug-eluting stents (DES) with regard to compromising or occluding sizeable side branches. Although technically more demanding compared with modern DES, it appears to be feasible to dilate side branches after crossing BVS cells. Preliminary data suggest at least balloon diameters up to 2.5 mm can be used, but safety remains unclear. Instead of kissing balloon dilatation, rather sequential balloon dilatation should be employed. Anecdotic evidence suggests BVS can be used even in relatively complex coronary anatomy, e.g. bifurcations distal to chronic total occlusion. Certainly more data are needed. As of today, BVS offer promise not only for the treatment of simple coronary lesions but also bifurcations. Given successful side branch protection, they might allow for restoring the native coronary anatomy in the sense of restitutio ad integrum.
Axel Schmermund : Cardioangiologisches Centrum Bethanien, Frankfurt, Germany
Holger Eggebrecht : Cardioangiologisches Centrum Bethanien, Frankfurt, Germany