Background: Intracoronary stenting reduces the rate of restenosis after angioplasty in patients with new coronary lesions. We conducted a prospective, randomized, multicenter study to determine whether intracoronary stenting, as compared with standard balloon angioplasty, reduces the recurrence of luminal narrowing in restenotic lesions.
Methods: A total of 383 patients who had undergone at least one balloon angioplasty and who had clinical and angiographic evidence of restenosis after the procedure were randomly assigned to undergo standard balloon angioplasty (192 patients) or intracoronary stenting with a Palmaz-Schatz stent (191 patients). The primary end point was angiographic evidence of restenosis (defined as stenosis of more than 50 percent of the luminal diameter) at six months. The secondary end points were death, Q-wave myocardial infarction, bypass surgery, and revascularization of the target vessel.
Results: The rate of restenosis was significantly higher in the angioplasty group than in the stent group (32 percent as compared with 18 percent, P= 0.03). Revascularization of the target vessel at six months was required in 27 percent of the angioplasty group but in only 10 percent of the stent group (P=0.001). This difference resulted from a smaller mean (+/-SD) minimal luminal diameter in the angioplasty group (1.85+/-0.56 mm) than in the stent group (2.04+/-0.66 mm), with a mean difference of 0.19 mm (P=0.01) at follow-up. Subacute thrombosis occurred in 0.6 percent of the angioplasty group and in 3.9 percent of the stent group. The rate of event-free survival at 250 days was 72 percent in the angioplasty group and 84 percent in the stent group (P=0.04).
Conclusions: Elective coronary stenting was effective in the treatment of restenosis after balloon angioplasty. Stenting resulted in a lower rate of recurrent stenosis despite a higher incidence of subacute thrombosis.