Objectives: The aim of this study was to perform detailed postmortem analysis of bailout coronary stenting to gain insights into the mechanism of success or failure of the procedure. Bailout stenting is increasingly used for acute or threatened arterial closure after angioplasty. Few pathologic data from bailout stenting have been reported.
Methods and results: The coronary arteries from 6 cases of bailout stenting were analyzed at autopsy. All stents were placed for extensive coronary dissection or abrupt vessel closure after balloon angioplasty. Twenty stents (11 Palmaz-Schatz and 9 Gianturco-Roubin stents) were placed in 8 coronary arteries, ranging from 1 to 5 stents per artery. After stenting, angiography showed good coronary flow in 3 of 6 cases. All patients died secondary to acute myocardial infarction. Histologically, in all cases, the stents were well opposed to the coronary artery wall, with a focally widely patent lumen by compression of the dissection plane. However, in 4 of 6 cases, there was residual dissection present in the nonstented portion of the arteries proximal, proximal to, and between stents or distal to the stented segment, resulting in focal luminal compression or obstruction. In 2 cases, bailout stenting effectively covered the dissection and prevented luminal compression.
Conclusions: Bailout stenting for dissection after balloon angioplasty restores lumen patency in the stented segment. Residual dissection in nonstented segments adversely affects outcome and supports the need for continued development of new stents with increased trackability and tapering designs to more effectively treat major coronary dissections.