Treating severely calcified arteries by endovascular means is still a challenge, although atherectomy, stents and lithotripsy are all techniques that are employed. Lithotripsy (also called Lithoplasty) seeks to microfragment the calcium seen in the vessels of peripheral arterial disease patients by using soundwaves. The procedure could improve the outcomes of endovascular treatments, Gunnar Tepe (Rosenheim, Germany), tells Interventional News at CIRSE 2018 in Lisbon. He believes one of the main benefits of lithotripsy is that it reduces the use of stents in treatment.
Tepe is the European principal investigator of the DISRUPT PAD III study. This is a multicentre, single blind, randomised study of lithotripsy with the Shockwave system used in combination with a drug-coated balloon (Medtronic’s IN.PACT Admiral) vs. standard balloon angioplasty used in combination with drug-coated balloon to treat moderate and severely calcified femoropopliteal arteries.