Can we prevent in-stent restenosis?

Curr Opin Cardiol. 2002 Sep;17(5):518-25. doi: 10.1097/00001573-200209000-00012.


Nowadays stent placement has replaced balloon angioplasty as the most commonly performed percutaneous coronary interventional procedure, mainly because of its better acute and chronic outcome. As a result, in-stent restenosis (ISR) has become a widespread problem. The incidence of ISR varies from 10% to 50% and depends on the absence or presence of several risk factors, such as small vessel size, longer lesions, and diabetes. Intravascular ultrasound studies have demonstrated that ISR is mainly caused by neointimal proliferation; consequently, this pathologic process has become the target of many preventive and therapeutic approaches. This article provides an overview of such management strategies, highlighting the rather disappointing experiences with mechanical and systemic drug therapies; the relative merits and disadvantages of intracoronary radiation; and the exciting yet realistic promise, embodied by the recent advancements in drug-eluting stent technology, of potentially eradicating ISR in the near future.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Angioplasty, Balloon, Coronary
  • Animals
  • Brachytherapy
  • Cell Cycle / drug effects
  • Coated Materials, Biocompatible / administration & dosage
  • Coronary Disease / therapy*
  • Coronary Restenosis / physiopathology
  • Coronary Restenosis / prevention & control*
  • Drug Delivery Systems
  • Gene Transfer Techniques
  • Humans
  • Paclitaxel / administration & dosage
  • Paclitaxel / therapeutic use
  • Sirolimus / administration & dosage
  • Sirolimus / pharmacology
  • Sirolimus / therapeutic use
  • Stents / adverse effects*


  • Coated Materials, Biocompatible
  • Paclitaxel
  • Sirolimus