This study was designed to test the hypothesis that patients fulfilling intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) criteria for optimal coronary stent implantation show a reduction in the restenosis rate at 6 months. IVUS guidance for stent dilation may be associated with facilitated stent implantation and an increased acute luminal gain, but it has not yet been determined, whether and to what extent this procedure is associated with a reduction in the restenosis rate. IVUS-guided optimization of Palmaz-Schatz stent placement was performed in 125 consecutive patients, 64 of whom fulfilled IVUS-criteria for optimal stent placement. Another 125 patients served as the non-IVUS control group. In 107 patients (86%) of the non-IVUS control group and 105 patients (84%) of the IVUS group, angiographic follow-up was performed. The IVUS group of patients revealed a significantly lower restenosis rate of 20.9% as compared with 29.9% in the control group (P = 0.033). Patients that met IVUS criteria for optimal stent placement had a larger minimal lumen diameter immediately after stent implantation (3.13 +/- 0.44 vs. 2.95 +/- 0.47 mm; P = 0.045) and at 6-month follow-up (2.23 +/- 0.78 vs. 1.87 +/- 0.76 mm; P = 0.019) as well as a significantly lower restenosis rate (13.5% vs. 28.3%; P = 0.038) as compared with patients that did not fulfil these criteria. Our data suggest that patients fulfilling IVUS criteria for optimal stent placement demonstrate a reduced risk for the development of restenosis. Thus, IVUS investigation identifies factors predictive of restenosis after coronary stent placement.