Background: Although coronary angioplasty is increasingly applied in the treatment of multivessel disease and a broadening range of vessel size, the influence of vessel size itself on the late results of intervention is unresolved. An influence of vessel size on late outcome would carry implications for the application and evaluation of interventional devices, which are selectively used in larger or smaller vessels. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the influence of vessel size on both the restenosis process and late angiographic outcome in a large homogeneous patient group after successful percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA).
Methods and results: The study population comprised 3072 patients with 3736 successfully dilated native primary coronary artery lesions and satisfactory quantitative angiographic analysis in multiple identical projections before and after PTCA and at a 6-month follow-up. Late luminal loss, minimal luminal diameter (MLD) at follow-up, and net luminal gain, as well as percent diameter stenosis at follow-up, net gain in percent diameter stenosis, restenosis rates (according to three definitions), and net gain index, were all compared among nine equally sized groups (noniles) according to vessel size. A direct influence of vessel size on continuous measures of late result was also evaluated by linear regression. These evaluations provided conflicting information with no consistent influence of vessel size emerging. To elucidate the independent influence of vessel size on the restenosis process (late loss) and late angiographic outcome (MLD at follow-up), multiple linear regression analysis was performed taking into account luminal gain, preprocedural MLD, and lesion location. In this manner, vessel size was found to be exert a significantly positive influence on MLD at follow-up (P < .0001) and an equally negative effect on loss. Correcting for vessel size by using percent stenosis measurements led to an anticipated neutralization of this influence. Lesion location in the left anterior descending coronary artery was found to be independently associated with greater loss and smaller MLD at follow-up (P < .0001).
Conclusions: Increasing coronary vessel size was found to be independently predictive of decreasing late luminal loss and increasing follow-up MLD after successful balloon angioplasty. Apparently superior or inferior late angiographic results of new interventional devices may thus be explained in part by preferential use in larger or smaller vessels, respectively. Devices that can safely optimize the short-term result of intervention may realize their ultimate long-term value in larger coronary vessels.