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Patterns And Mechanisms Of In-Stent Restenosis

Rainer Hoffmann, Gary S. Mintz, Gaston R. Dussaillant, Jeffrey J. Popma, Augusto D. Pichard, Lowell F. Satler, Kenneth M. Kent, Jennifer Griffin, Martin B. Leon

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Background Studies have suggested that restenosis within Palmaz-Schatz stents results from neointimal hyperplasia or chronic stent recoil and occurs more frequently at the articulation. Methods and Results Serial intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) was performed after intervention and at follow-up in 142 stents in 115 lesions. IVUS measurements (external elastic membrane [EEM], stent, and lumen cross-sectional areas [CSAs] and diameters) were performed, and plaque CSA (EEM lumen in reference segments and stent lumen in stented segments), late lumen loss (Δlumen), remodeling (ΔEEM in reference segments and Δstent in stented segments), and tissue growth (Δplaque) were calculated. After intervention, the lumen tended to be smallest at the articulation because of tissue prolapse. At follow-up, tissue growth was uniformly distributed throughout the stent; the tendency for greater neointimal tissue accumulation at the central articulation reached statistical significance only when normalized for the smaller postintervention lumen CSA. In stented segments, late lumen area loss correlated strongly with tissue growth but only weakly with remodeling. Stents affected adjacent vessel segments; remodeling progressively increased and tissue growth progressively decreased at distances from the edge of the stent. These findings were similar in native arteries and saphenous vein grafts and in lesions treated with one or two stents. There was no difference in the postintervention or follow-up lumen (at the junction of the two stents) when overlapped were compared with nonoverlapped stents. Conclusions Late lumen loss and in-stent restenosis were the result of neointimal tissue proliferation, which tended to be uniformly distributed over the length of the stent.