Hardening and thickening of the arteries is a hallmark of atherosclerosis. The process is usually the result of accumulated fatty tissue and cholesterol, and begins when oxidized lipoproteins come in contact with an arterial wall and cause damage. To fight this condition, white blood cells are sent to the growing lesion. As the white blood cells become engorged, they rupture, depositing more lipoproteins in the lumen of the artery, contributing to the problem. As a response, the body sends more white blood cells. Eventually, inflammation occurs, and plaque begins to collect on the arterial wall, causing the muscle cells to enlarge and form a hard cover. As a consequence, the path available for blood flow becomes constricted, causing tissues that are located downstream to suffer from insufficient oxygenation. When this occurs in the general circulatory system, as opposed to the heart or brain, it is referred to as peripheral arterial disease (PAD).
The use of peripheral stents is one of the options available for treating PAD. As global awareness of PAD increases, it is natural that the global market for these devices to continue experiencing growth in the future. With the exception of the European market, all peripheral stent global markets are expected to grow at a two-digit rate in the upcoming years, with China experiencing the highest combined annual growth rate at over 22%. The rise in peripheral procedures in the country will continue due to the relatively unsaturated market for peripheral vascular devices. The same is the case for India. The US peripheral stent market will also experience growth in the future, albeit weaker than will be the case in Europe. There is still a large untreated population in the U.S. that could benefit from stents; therefore, procedure numbers will continue to grow as well.