Drug-Coated Balloon Versus Drug-Eluting Stent for Small Coronary Vessel Disease: PICCOLETO II Randomized Clinical Trial

JACC Cardiovasc Interv. 2020 Dec 28;13(24):2840-2849. doi: 10.1016/j.jcin.2020.08.035. Epub 2020 Nov 25.


Objectives: This study sought to compare the performance of a novel drug-coated balloon (DCB) (Elutax SV, Aachen Resonance, Germany), with an everolimus-eluting stent (EES) (Abbott Vascular, Santa Clara, California) in patients with de novo lesions.

Background: Small vessel coronary artery disease (SVD) represents one of the most attractive fields of application for DCB. To date, several devices have been compared with drug-eluting stents in this setting, with different outcomes.

Methods: The PICCOLETO II (Drug Eluting Balloon Efficacy for Small Coronary Vessel Disease Treatment) trial was an international, investigator-driven, multicenter, open-label, prospective randomized controlled trial where patients with de novo SVD lesions were randomized to DCB or EES. Primary study endpoint was in-lesion late lumen loss (LLL) at 6 months (independent core laboratory), with the noninferiority between the 2 arms hypothesized. Secondary endpoints were minimal lumen diameter, percent diameter stenosis at angiographic follow-up, and the occurrence of major adverse cardiac events at 12 months.

Results: Between May 2015 and May 2018, a total of 232 patients were enrolled at 5 centers. After a median of 189 (interquartile range: 160 to 202) days, in-lesion LLL was significantly lower in the DCB group (0.04 vs. 0.17 mm; p = 0.001 for noninferiority; p = 0.03 for superiority). Percent diameter stenosis and minimal lumen diameter were not significantly different. At 12-month clinical follow-up, major adverse cardiac events occurred in 7.5% of the DES group and in 5.6% of the DCB group (p = 0.55). There was a numerically higher incidence of spontaneous myocardial infarction (4.7% vs. 1.9%; p = 0.23) and vessel thrombosis (1.8% vs. 0%; p = 0.15) in the DES arm.

Conclusions: In this multicenter randomized clinical trial in patients with de novo SVD lesions, a new-generation DCB was found superior to EES in terms of LLL as the angiographic pattern and comparable in terms of clinical outcome. (Drug Eluting Balloon Efficacy for Small Coronary Vessel Disease Treatment [PICCOLETO II]; NCT03899818).

Keywords: drug-coated balloon; everolimus-eluting stent(s); native vessel disease; small coronary vessel disease.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Angioplasty, Balloon, Coronary
  • Cardiac Catheters
  • Cardiovascular Agents
  • Coated Materials, Biocompatible
  • Coronary Restenosis
  • Coronary Vessels
  • Drug-Eluting Stents*
  • Germany
  • Humans
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations
  • Prospective Studies
  • Prosthesis Design
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Cardiovascular Agents
  • Coated Materials, Biocompatible
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT03899818