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Heart. 2007 Mar;93(3):331-4. Epub 2006 Aug 29.

Implantation of paclitaxel-eluting stents in saphenous vein grafts: clinical and angiographic follow-up results from a multicentre study.

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  • 1Medical Clinic I, University RWTH Aachen, Aachen, Germany.



To define the clinical and angiographic follow-up results after implantation of paclitaxel-eluting stents (PESs) in stenotic saphenous vein grafts (SVGs).


Prospective multicentre study. Comparison with a control group.


60 consecutive patients with 65 lesions located in 65 SVGs (mean (SD) age of vein grafts 11.3 (5.7) years) treated with PES (V-Flex Plus, 2.7 microg/mm(2) paclitaxel, Cook) and 60 patients with 60 SVG lesions treated with bare metal stent (BMS) were included. Lesions had to be <20 mm in length and in grafts of 2.75-3.5 mm diameter. The 6 month angiographic follow-up was obtained on 51 lesions (79%) of the PES group and on 51 lesions (85%) of the BMS group.


Baseline clinical and angiographic characteristics were comparable between both groups. At angiographic follow-up, three vein grafts in the PES group and five vein grafts in the BMS group were occluded. In-stent late lumen loss was lower in PES than in BMS (0.61 (0.81) vs 1.06 (0.72) mm, respectively; p = 0.021). In-stent binary restenosis rates were 12% vs 33%, respectively, (p = 0.012). Linear regression analysis showed BMS to be the only factor with an effect on late lumen loss (p = 0.011). Target-vessel failure rates were 18% in the PES group and 41% in the BMS group (p = 0.019), whereas major adverse cardiac event (MACE) rates at 180 days were 15% and 37%, respectively (p = 0.014).


Implantation of non-polymer-based PES in SVG lesions is associated with a lower late lumen loss and restenosis rate than those of BMS. There remains a substantial target-vessel failure rate and MACE rate even at 6 months owing to graft occlusion or new lesions in the graft.

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