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J Vasc Interv Radiol. 2018 Jul;29(7):1041-1049.e3. doi: 10.1016/j.jvir.2018.02.006. Epub 2018 May 10.

Biologic Drug Effect and Particulate Embolization of Drug-Eluting Stents versus Drug-Coated Balloons in Healthy Swine Femoropopliteal Arteries.

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CVPath Institute, 19 Firstfield Rd., Gaithersburg, MD 20878.
Cook Research, West Lafayette, Indiana.
CVPath Institute, 19 Firstfield Rd., Gaithersburg, MD 20878. Electronic address:



To compare the drug effect in treated vessels and downstream effects in distal skeletal muscle of drug-coated balloons (DCBs) and drug-eluting stents (DESs) in a healthy preclinical swine model.


Four groups of treated iliofemoral arteries (percutaneous transluminal angioplasty [PTA]+DES, DCB+DES, DCB+bare metal stent [BMS], and DCB alone) of 12 healthy swine were assessed, with euthanasia at 30 days. Biological drug effect was evaluated using smooth muscle cell (SMC) loss score according to both depth and circumference as well as a neointimal fibrin and medial proteoglycan scores which were compared between the 4 groups. Vascular and skeletal muscle changes in regions downstream from the treated site were also assessed histologically for evidence of emboli.


DESs showed greater medial SMC loss in the treated arteries irrespective of preceding DCB or PTA treatment in terms of depth (DCB+DES vs PTA+DES vs DCB+BMS vs DCB alone; median, 4.0 mm vs 3.8 mm vs 3.0 mm vs 2.2 mm; P = .009) and circumference (4.0 mm vs 3.5 mm vs 2.0 mm vs 1.2 mm, respectively; P = .007). Sections of skeletal muscles downstream from the treated arteries showed arteriolar changes of fibrinoid necrosis consistent with paclitaxel effect exclusively in the DCB groups (DCB+BMS, 26.9% of sections; DCB+DES, 14.3%; DCB alone, 19.2%; PTA+DES, 0%; P = .02).


In the treated arteries, irrespective of preceding DCB treatment or PTA, DES treatment showed maximum drug effects vs DCB alone or in combination with BMS placement, and there was no detrimental toxic effect in DCB-treated iliofemoral arteries before DES treatment compared with PTA before DES treatment. Downstream vascular changes were exclusively seen in groups treated with DCBs.

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