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Aims: We investigated the impact of arterial injury on neointimal hyperplasia following implantation of drug-eluting stents (DES). Methods and results: A total of 196 patients with 223 segments (sirolimus-eluting stents [SES]: 104, paclitaxel-eluting stents [PES]: 119) underwent intravascular ultrasound eight months after DES implantation. Arterial injury was defined as the balloon-to-artery ratio (BAR). Segments were categorised into two groups: high BAR defined as BAR>1.1 (120 segments), and low BAR defined as BAR ≤1.1 (103 segments). Baseline clinical characteristics were similar for both groups. Although reference vessel diameter was smaller, stent diameter, maximal balloon pressure and balloon diameter were higher in the high BAR compared with the low BAR group. Lumen (7.10±1.91 vs. 6.25±1.69, p=0.001), stent (7.31±1.95 vs. 6.41±1.80, p=0.001), and external elastic membrane (17.1±4.9 vs. 14.8±4.0, p<0.0001) areas (mm2) were higher, but neointimal hyperplasia (0.21±0.36 vs. 0.16±0.48, p=0.42) area (mm2) was similar in the high BAR compared with the low BAR group. Arterial injury as assessed by BAR was not associated with the amount of neointimal hyperplasia (R2=0.003, p=0.40). Conclusions: Arterial injury does not correlate with the amount of neointimal hyperplasia following DES implantation. Conventionally aggressive DES implantation techniques do not adversely affect long-term outcome with respect to restenosis. © Europa Edition 2010. All rights reserved.

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467 - 474