This study sought to investigate the degree of acute recoil of four different stents by means of quantitative coronary angiography. Four hundred and six patients underwent stent implantation for single discrete coronary artery lesion: 105 received a 16 mm Paragon stent, 112 an 18 mm Multilink Duet, 97 a 16 mm NIR Primo stent, and 92 a 15 or 18 mm NIR Royal Advance. Elastic recoil was defined as the difference between mean balloon cross-sectional area (CSA) at the highest pressure and mean CSA after PTCA. The mean stent recoil was 13% +/- 10% CSA (P < 0.001), being statistically greater for the nitinol Paragon stent (21% +/- 11%), intermediate for the multicellular Multilink Duet stent (14% +/- 7%), and minimum for the NIR family (9% +/- 6% and 8% +/- 7%, respectively). The recoil was not homogeneously distributed along the stent length but was lower at the two ends (11% +/- 12% and 13% +/- 11%) and highest in the central part (15% +/- 12%)(P < 0.001). Thus, acute recoil is a significant phenomenon regardless of the mechanical properties and design of new-generation tubular stents.