Purpose: To review clinical outcomes of patients with chronic limb ischemia and TASC type C lesions treated with sirolimus-eluting versus bare SMART nitinol self-expanding stents.
Methods: Data were obtained from a randomized, multicenter, double-blinded study conducted in 2 phases. All 93 patients had chronic limb ischemia and superficial femoral artery (SFA) occlusions or stenoses (average lesion length 8.3 cm). In total, 47 patients (31 men; mean age 66.3+/-9.1 years, range 50-84) received the sirolimus-eluting SMART stent and 46 patients (36 men; mean age 65.9 +/-10.8 years, range 38-83) received a bare SMART nitinol stent. Both groups were followed for a mean 24 months.
Results: Both the sirolimus-eluting and the bare SMART stents were effective in revascularizing the diseased SFA and in sustaining freedom from restenosis. For both types of stents, improvements in ankle-brachial indices (ABI) and symptoms of claudication were maintained over 24 months (median 24-month ABI 0.96 for the sirolimus group versus 0.87 for the bare stent group, p>0.05). At 24 months, the restenosis rate in the sirolimus group was 22.9% versus 21.1% in the bare stent group (p>0.05). The cumulative in-stent restenosis rates according to duplex ultrasound were 4.7%, 9.0%, 15.6%, and 21.9%, respectively, at 6, 9, 18, and 24 months; the rates did not differ significantly between the treatment groups. The TLR rate for the sirolimus group was 6% and for the bare stent group 13%; the TVR rates were somewhat higher: 13% and 22%, respectively. Mortality rates did not differ significantly between the groups.
Conclusion: These data demonstrate that the sirolimus-eluting and the bare SMART stent are effective, safe, and free from restenosis in a majority of patients for up to 24 months. Because the restenosis rate in the bare stent group is unexpectedly low, no significant difference could be found between the sirolimus-eluting and the bare SMART stents.