To investigate the mechanisms of restenosis and detect useful interventions to prevent it, reliable quantitative measurements must be evaluated. Coronary arteries of domestic and minipigs (n = 18) were mechanically injured by balloon overstretching and killed at different intervals (2 to 25 weeks) after quantitative angiographic analysis. Morphometric measurements evaluated intimal hyperplasia at 0.59 +/- 0.42 mm without relation to artery size or balloon/artery ratio. Intimal hyperplasia, expressed as the ratio of neointimal area to total wall area (A), is directly related to the injury, assessed by the ratio of internal elastic lamina (IEL) fracture length to IEL circumference (B), r = 0.84, p = 0.002. Restenosis injury index, defined as A/B, provides a useful tool for the quantitative assessment of future angioplasty-related restenosis interventions.