Aims: We aimed to investigate the effects of an initial learning period with mandatory optical coherence tomography (OCT) guidance for the implantation of everolimus-eluting bioresorbable vascular scaffolds (BVS).
Methods and results: We analysed procedural and clinical outcomes of all BVS implantations at a single centre where OCT guidance was mandatory in the initial rollout (OCT-mandatory) phase. We compared these data with the later phase where use of OCT was at operator discretion (OCT-selective or angiography). We implanted 406 BVS in 306 vessels (201 OCT, 105 angiography) in 272 patients. Follow-up duration was 38±10 months. Annualised rates of device-oriented cardiac events (DOCE) and scaffold thrombosis (ScT) were 1.4% and 0.4%, respectively. The risks of DOCE (HR 1.06, 95% CI: 0.33-3.34; p=0.71) and ScT (HR 0.48, 95% CI: 0.07-3.85; p=0.49) were not significantly different when comparing the OCT and angiography groups.
Conclusions: Routine use of OCT to guide and optimise BVS implants results in very acceptable outcomes. Further, the benefits of such an early OCT-mandatory “learning” period persist after cessation of routine OCT usage when imaging is not routinely used. A period of mandatory OCT usage for BVS implants may therefore be beneficial in improving patient outcomes with these devices.