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JACC Cardiovasc Interv. 2012 Jul;5(7):741-51. doi: 10.1016/j.jcin.2012.03.021.

Time course of endothelium-dependent and -independent coronary vasomotor response to coronary balloons and stents. Comparison of plain and drug-eluting balloons and stents.

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Department of Cardiology, Medical University of Vienna, Währinger Gürtel 18-20, Vienna, Austria.



This study sought to determine the time dependency of the endothelium-dependent and -independent vascular responses after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) with drug-eluting (DEB) or plain balloons, bare-metal (BMS), and drug-eluting (DES) stents, or controls.


Long-term endothelial dysfunction after DES implantation is associated with delayed healing and late thrombosis.


Domestic pigs underwent PCI using DEB or plain balloon, BMS, or DES. The dilated and stented segments, and the proximal reference segments of stents and control arteries were explanted at 5-h, 24-h, 1-week, and 1-month follow-up (FUP). Endothelin-induced vasoconstriction and endothelium-dependent and -independent vasodilation of the arterial segments were determined in vitro and were related to histological results.


DES- and BMS-treated arteries showed proneness to vasoconstriction 5 h post-PCI. The endothelium-dependent vasodilation was profoundly (p < 0.05) impaired early after PCI (9.8 ± 3.7%, 13.4 ± 9.2%, 5.7 ± 5.3%, and 7.6 ± 4.7% using plain balloon, DEB, BMS, and DES, respectively), as compared with controls (49.6 ± 9.5%), with slow recovery. In contrast to DES, the endothelium-related vasodilation of vessels treated with plain balloon, DEB, and BMS was increased at 1 month, suggesting enhanced endogenous nitric oxide production of the neointima. The endothelium-independent (vascular smooth muscle-related) vasodilation decreased significantly at 1 day, with slow normalization during FUP. All PCI-treated vessels exhibited imbalance between vasoconstriction-vasodilation, which was more pronounced in DES- and BMS-treated vessels. No correlation between histological parameters and vasomotor function was found, indicating complex interactions between the healing neoendothelium and smooth muscle post-PCI.


Coronary arteries treated with plain balloon, DEB, BMS, and DES showed time-dependent loss of endothelial-dependent and -independent vasomotor function, with imbalanced contraction/dilation capacity.

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