Coronary stent implantation is superior to balloon angioplasty for chronic coronary occlusions: six-year clinical follow-up of the GISSOC trial

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2003 May 7;41(9):1488-92. doi: 10.1016/s0735-1097(03)00254-7.


Objectives: We investigated whether the benefits of stent implantation over balloon percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) for treatment of chronic total coronary occlusions (CTO) are maintained in the long term.

Background: Several randomized trials have shown that in CTO, stent implantation confers clinical and angiographic mid-term outcomes superior to those observed after PTCA. However, limited information on the long-term results of either technique is available.

Methods: Six-year clinical follow-up of patients enrolled in the Gruppo Italiano di Studio sullo Stent nelle Occlusioni Coronariche (GISSOC) trial was performed by direct visit or telephone interview. Major adverse cardiac events (MACE), defined as cardiac death, myocardial infarction, target lesion revascularization (TLR), and anginal status, were recorded.

Results: Freedom from MACE at six years was 76.1% in the stent group, compared with 60.4% in the PTCA group (p = 0.0555). This difference was due mainly to TLR-free survival rates (85.1% vs. 65.5% for the stent and PTCA groups, respectively; p = 0.0165). Eleven patients underwent TLR after the nine-month follow-up visit (stent group: n = 5; PTCA group: n = 6); however, in most cases, restenosis of the study occlusion was evident at nine-month angiography.

Conclusions: This study represents the longest reported clinical follow-up of patients after percutaneous recanalization of CTO and demonstrates that the superiority of stent implantation over balloon PTCA is maintained in the long term. Stent and PTCA results appear to remain stable after nine-month angiographic follow-up. Stent implantation in CTO that can be recanalized percutaneously is therefore a valuable long-term therapeutic option.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Angioplasty, Balloon, Coronary*
  • Blood Vessel Prosthesis Implantation*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Coronary Angiography
  • Coronary Stenosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Coronary Stenosis / therapy*
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Stents*
  • Time Factors