Objectives: This study investigated whether stenting improves long-term results after recanalization of chronic coronary occlusions.
Background: Restenosis is common after percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) of chronic coronary occlusions. Stenting has been suggested as a means of improving results, but its use has not previously been investigated in a randomized trial.
Methods: We randomly assigned 119 patients with a satisfactory result after successful recanalization by PTCA of a chronic coronary occlusion to 1) a control (PTCA) group with no other intervention, or 2) a group in which PTCA was followed by implantation of Palmaz-Schatz stents with full anticoagulation. Coronary angiography was performed before randomization, after stenting and at 6-month follow-up.
Results: Inguinal bleeding was more frequent in the stent group. There were no deaths. One patient with stenting had a myocardial infarction. Subacute occlusion within 2 weeks occurred in four patients in the stent group and in three in the PTCA group. At follow-up, 57% of patients with stenting were free from angina compared with 24% of patients with PTCA only (p < 0.001). Angiographic follow-up data were available in 114 patients. Restenosis (> or = 50% diameter stenosis) developed in 32% of patients with stenting and in 74% of patients with PTCA only (p < 0.001); reocclusion occurred in 12% and 26%, respectively (p = 0.058). Minimal lumen diameter (mean +/- SD) at follow-up was 1.92 +/- 0.95 mm and 1.11 +/- 0.78 mm, respectively (p < 0.001). Target lesion revascularization within 300 days was less frequent in patients with stenting than in patients with PTCA only (22% vs. 42%, p = 0.025).
Conclusions: Stent implantation improved long-term angiographic and clinical results after PTCA of chronic coronary occlusions and is thus recommended regardless of the primary PTCA result.