Background: Coronary-stent placement is a new technique in which a balloon-expandable, stainless-steel, slotted tube is implanted at the site of a coronary stenosis. The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of stent placement and standard balloon angioplasty on angiographically detected restenosis and clinical outcomes.
Methods: We randomly assigned 410 patients with symptomatic coronary disease to elective placement of a Palmaz-Schatz stent or to standard balloon angioplasty. Coronary angiography was performed at base line, immediately after the procedure, and six months later.
Results: The patients who underwent stenting had a higher rate of procedural success than those who underwent standard balloon angioplasty (96.1 percent vs. 89.6 percent, P = 0.011), a larger immediate increase in the diameter of the lumen (1.72 +/- 0.46 vs. 1.23 +/- 0.48 mm, P < 0.001), and a larger luminal diameter immediately after the procedure (2.49 +/- 0.43 vs. 1.99 +/- 0.47 mm, P < 0.001). At six months, the patients with stented lesions continued to have a larger luminal diameter (1.74 +/- 0.60 vs. 1.56 +/- 0.65 mm, P = 0.007) and a lower rate of restenosis (31.6 percent vs. 42.1 percent, P = 0.046) than those treated with balloon angioplasty. There were no coronary events (death; myocardial infarction; coronary-artery bypass surgery; vessel closure, including stent thrombosis; or repeated angioplasty) in 80.5 percent of the patients in the stent group and 76.2 percent of those in the angioplasty group (P = 0.16). Revascularization of the original target lesion because of recurrent myocardial ischemia was performed less frequently in the stent group than in the angioplasty group (10.2 percent vs. 15.4 percent, P = 0.06).
Conclusions: In selected patients, placement of an intracoronary stent, as compared with balloon angioplasty, results in an improved rate of procedural success, a lower rate of angiographically detected restenosis, a similar rate of clinical events after six months, and a less frequent need for revascularization of the original coronary lesion.