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J Interv Cardiol. 2014 Feb;27(1):80-5. doi: 10.1111/joic.12088. Epub 2014 Jan 2.

Drug-eluting stents may not reduce target lesion revascularization in cardiac allograft vasculopathy.

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Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, Florida.



Although drug-eluting stent (DES) compared with bare metal stent (BMS) use reduces in-stent restenosis (ISR) in traditional coronary artery disease, its efficacy in cardiac allograft vasculopathy (CAV) has not been clearly established.


CAV is a leading cause of mortality after the first year following cardiac transplantation. CAV treatment options are limited, and DES use has increased significantly in this population.


In a retrospective study of heart transplant patients at our institution who underwent percutaneous coronary intervention with a BMS or DES for CAV, we compared baseline characteristics, clinical outcomes, ISR, and target lesion revascularization (TLR). The primary end-point was angiographic ISR assessed by quantitative coronary angiography analyzed as both a binary (≤50% vs. >50%) and continuous variable (follow-up minimal luminal area [MLA]/baseline MLA). Secondary outcomes included TLR and a composite of death, myocardial infarction, heart failure, and retransplantation.


In 45 patients with DES, BMS, or both, ISR assessed as a continuous variable was statistically different between the 2 stent groups (follow-up MLA/baseline MLA = 0.796 DES vs. 0.481 BMS; P = 0.0037). There was also a significant difference in ISR (10.8% for DES versus 30.7% for BMS) when assessed as a binary variable. There was no statistically significant difference in TLR or composite cardiovascular outcomes between groups when adjusted for traditional cardiovascular risk factors.


ISR assessed as a continuous variable was significantly different between stent groups. However, this did not lead to a difference in TLR or cardiovascular outcomes. This hypothesis-generating finding suggests that patients with CAV may not necessarily need treatment with DES, which can be more costly and carries more potential risk than BMS.

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