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EuroIntervention. 2009 Jun;5(2):255-64.

Percutaneous coronary intervention with oral sirolimus and bare metal stents has comparable safety and efficacy to treatment with drug eluting stents, but with significant cost saving: long-term follow-up results from the randomised, controlled ORAR III (Oral Rapamycin in ARgentina) study.

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  • 1Cardiovascular Research Center (CECI), Sanatorio Otamendi, Buenos Aires, Argentina.



Previous randomised studies have shown a significant reduction in restenosis when oral rapamycin (OR) is administered to patients undergoing bare metal stent (BMS) implantation. How this regimen compares to drug eluting stents (DES) is unknown.


Two-hundred patients with de novo coronary lesions were randomised to treatment with OR plus BMS (100 pts) or with DES (100 pts). OR was given as a bolus of 10 mg per day before PCI followed by daily doses of 3 mg during following 13 days. Primary endpoints were to compare hospital, follow-up and overall cost at one, two, three and five years of follow-up. The secondary endpoints included death, myocardial infarction (MI) and stroke and were analysed as major adverse cardiovascular events (MACCE). Target vessel (TVR) and target lesion revascularisation (TLR) were independently analysed. Costs included procedural resources, hospitalisation, medications, repeat revascularisation procedures and professional fees. Baseline demographic, clinical and angiographic characteristics were similar. At 18.3 +/- 7 months of follow-up, the initial strategy of OR plus BMS resulted in significant cost saving when compared to DES (p=0.0001). TLR rate was 8.2% with DES and 7.0% with OR plus BMS (p=0.84), similarly no differences in TVR rate in both groups was seen (10.6% and 10.5% in OR and DES group respectively, p=0.86). Non-inferiority testing, determined that DES therapy failed to be cost saving compared to OR in all possible cost scenarios.


A strategy of OR plus BMS is cost saving compared to DES in patients undergoing PCI for de novo coronary lesions.


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