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Lancet. 2004 Aug 14-20;364(9434):583-91.

A hierarchical Bayesian meta-analysis of randomised clinical trials of drug-eluting stents.

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Division of Cardiology, Royal Victoria Hospital/McGill University Health Center, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.



Drug-eluting stents (DES) are associated with lower restenosis rates than bare-metal stents (BMS), but the benefits and safety of the new devices have not been systematically quantified across different trials. We undertook a meta-analysis of randomised trials comparing BMS and stents eluting sirolimus or paclitaxel.


A systematic literature search aimed to identify all randomised clinical trials with 6-12 months of clinical follow-up. Results were pooled by a hierarchical Bayesian random-effects model with prespecified stratification for drug and the presence of carrier polymer. The primary outcomes examined were rates of death, myocardial infarction, target-lesion revascularisation, major adverse cardiac events (death, myocardial infarction, and target-vessel revascularisation), and angiographic restenosis.


We identified 11 eligible trials involving 5103 patients. The pooled mortality rates were low for both DES and BMS with no evidence of any difference between them (odds ratio 1.11 [95% credible interval 0.61-2.06]). Pooled rates of myocardial infarction showed no between-group difference (0.92 [0.65-1.25]). The rate of major adverse cardiac events was 7.8% with DES and 16.4% with BMS (0.42 [0.32-0.53]), and the angiographic restenosis rates were also lower for DES (8.9% vs 29.3%; 0.18 [0.06-0.40]). The pooled rates of major adverse cardiac events for each DES type and the respective BMS were: for sirolimus, 6.8% versus 21.0% (0.28 [0.17-0.41]); for polymer-based paclitaxel 8.7% versus 16.7% (0.47 [0.25-0.71]); and for non-polymer-based paclitaxel 7.7% versus 9.5% (0.64 [0.42-1.00]). We did not observe higher rates of edge restenosis, stent thrombosis, or late incomplete stent apposition with DES, although the credible intervals were wide.


Sirolimus-eluting and polymeric paclitaxel-eluting stents are effective at decreasing rates of angiographic restenosis and major adverse cardiac events compared with BMS. However, there is no evidence that they affect mortality or myocardial-infarction rates. They also appear to be safe in the short to medium term, although definitive conclusions are not possible. Larger studies with longer follow-up are needed to define better the role of these new devices.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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