Pharmacological prevention of intimal hyperplasia: A state-of-the-art review

Pharmacol Ther. 2022 Jul:235:108157. doi: 10.1016/j.pharmthera.2022.108157. Epub 2022 Feb 17.


Intimal hyperplasia (IH) occurs in a considerable number of cases of blood vessel reconstruction by stenting or balloon angioplasty, venous bypass grafting, and arteriovenous dialysis accesses. It is triggered by endothelial injury during the vascular intervention and leads to vessel restenosis with life-threatening consequences for patients. To date, the drugs used for IH prevention in clinics-paclitaxel and rapalog drugs-have been focusing primarily on the vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) proliferation pathway of IH development. Limitations, such as endothelial toxicity and inappropriate drug administration timing, have spurred the search for new and efficient pharmacological approaches to control IH. In this state-of-the-art review, we present the pathways of IH development, focusing on the key events and actors involved in IH. Subsequently, we discuss different drugs and drug combinations interfering with these pathways based on their effect on peripheral circulation IH models in animal studies, or on clinical reports. The reports were obtained through an extensive search of peer-reviewed publications in Pubmed, Embase, and Google Scholar, with search equations composed based on five concepts around IH and their various combinations. To improve vascular intervention outcomes, rethinking of conventional therapeutic approaches to IH prevention is needed. Exploring local application of drugs and drug combinations acting on different pathophysiological pathways of IH development has the potential to provide effective and safe restenosis prevention.

Keywords: Artery injury; Combination therapy; Intimal hyperplasia; Peripheral artery disease; Restenosis; Vein graft.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Hyperplasia / metabolism
  • Hyperplasia / pathology
  • Hyperplasia / prevention & control
  • Tunica Intima* / metabolism
  • Tunica Intima* / pathology