Background: Sirolimus-eluting stents have been developed to prevent restenosis in the treatment of coronary artery disease. We investigated the risk of restenosis with use of sirolimus-eluting stents compared with bare-metal stents to assess possible differences.
Methods: We enrolled 352 patients in whom one coronary artery required treatment, with diameter 2.5-3.0 mm and lesion length 15-32 mm. We randomly assigned patients sirolimus-eluting stents (n=175) or bare-metal stents (control, n=177). At 8 months we assessed differences in minimum lumen diameter and binary restenosis within the lesion (restenosis of > or =50% diameter, including 5 mm vessel segments proximal and distal to stented segment). Patients were also followed up for 9 months for major adverse cardiac events. Analysis was by intention to treat.
Findings: Stent implantation was successful in 100% of sirolimus-stent patients and 99.4% of controls. The mean diameter of treated coronary arteries was 2.55 mm (SD 0.37) and mean lesion length was 15.0 mm (6.0). Multiple stents were implanted in 170 (48%) patients. At 8 months, minimum lumen diameter was significantly higher with sirolimus-eluting stents than with control stents (2.22 vs 1.33 mm, p<0.0001). The rate of binary restenosis was significantly reduced with sirolimus-eluting stents compared with control stents (5.9 vs 42.3%, p=0.0001). Significantly fewer patients with sirolimus-eluting stents had major adverse cardiac events at 9 months than did controls (8.0 vs 22.6%, p=0.0002), due mainly to a lower need for target-lesion revascularisations (4.0 vs 20.9%, p<0.0001).
Interpretation: Sirolimus-eluting stents are better than bare-metal stents for treatment of single long atherosclerotic lesions in a coronary vessel smaller than 3 mm in diameter.