Background: Sustained benefits of drug-eluting stents in femoropopliteal arteries have not been demonstrated. This prospective, multinational, randomized study was designed to compare the 12-month safety and effectiveness of a polymer-free, paclitaxel-coated nitinol drug-eluting stent (DES) with percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA) and provisional bare metal stent (BMS) placement in patients with femoropopliteal peripheral artery disease.
Methods and results: Patients were randomly assigned to primary DES implantation (n=236) or PTA (n=238). Demographics and lesion characteristics were similar between groups (eg, average lesion length, approximately 65±40 mm). One hundred twenty patients had acute PTA failure and underwent secondary random assignment to provisional DES (n=61) or BMS (n=59). Primary end points were the 12-month rates of event-free survival and patency in the primary DES and PTA groups. Compared with the PTA group, the primary DES group exhibited superior 12-month event-free survival (90.4% versus 82.6%; P=0.004) and primary patency (83.1% versus 32.8%; P<0.001), satisfying the primary hypotheses. In the secondary evaluations, (1) the primary DES group exhibited superior clinical benefit compared with the PTA group (88.3% versus 75.8%; P<0.001), (2) the provisional DES group exhibited superior primary patency (89.9% versus 73.0%; P=0.01) and superior clinical benefit (90.5% and 72.3%, P=0.009) compared with the provisional BMS group, and (3) the stent fracture rate (both DES and BMS) was 0.9% (4/457).
Conclusions: Femoropopliteal peripheral artery disease treatment with the paclitaxel-eluting stent was associated with superior 12-month outcomes compared with PTA and provisional BMS placement.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00120406.