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J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol. 2008 Jul;19(7):673-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-8167.2008.01110.x. Epub 2008 Feb 13.

Comparison of stent versus balloon angioplasty for pulmonary vein stenosis complicating pulmonary vein isolation.

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  • 1Department of Pediatric Cardiology, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio, USA.



Pulmonary vein stenosis (PVS) is a rare but significant complication of pulmonary vein isolation (PVI). Dilation and stent angioplasty have been described but not compared.


All percutaneous interventions for PVS complicating PVI between December 2000 and March 2007 were reviewed. Acute success, defined as post-intervention stenosis <or=30%, and long-term outcome of dilation versus stent angioplasty were compared. Freedom from restenosis was defined as freedom from repeat intervention. Overall outcome for all interventions was examined. We studied 34 patients with 55 stenotic veins followed for a mean of 25 months. Dilation was performed in 39 veins and stenting in 40 veins (16 primarily, 24 after dilation restenosis). Acute success and restenosis rates were 42% and 72% for dilation versus 95% (P < 0.001) and 33% for stenting. Time to restenosis was greater for stent angioplasty (P = 0.003). Stents >or=10 mm in diameter had lower restenosis than smaller stents. Risk factors for restenosis included small reference vessel diameter and longer time from PVI to intervention for PVS. All but two patients experienced improvement (n = 10) or resolution of symptoms (n = 22). The mean percent stenosis decreased from 82% to 21% for the entire cohort and mean flow to the lung quadrant increased from 10% to 17%.


Stent angioplasty results in less restenosis than dilation, particularly for stents >or=10 mm. Early referral may improve long-term patency by minimizing reference vessel atrophy. Most patients with PVS post-PVI can be improved symptomatically with catheter intervention.

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