OBJECTIVE--Intracoronary stenting was designed to overcome acute complications after percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty and to achieve a reduced rate of restenosis, both of which are major limitations of this well accepted method for treating coronary heart disease. This report describes the experience at one centre with the implantation of balloon-expandable Palmaz-Schatz stents and focuses on device related complications and the short and long term angiographic outcome. DESIGN--A retrospective data analysis. PATIENTS--Stenting was attempted in 50 patients. Restenosis after an initially successful angioplasty procedure, inadequate postangioplasty results, saphenous coronary bypass stenoses, and bail-out situations were regarded as indications. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES AND RESULTS--In 49 of 50 attempted patients 61 stents (1-4 per patient) were implanted. Delivery problems occurred in three patients and were successfully overcome in two patients. Bail-out situations were successfully managed in 16 patients. Complications included acute thrombus formation within the stent immediately after implantation in one patient, which was successfully treated by thrombolysis. One patient was sent for bypass surgery the day after implantation; another died 10 days after implantation for unknown reasons. Subacute stent thrombosis occurred in seven patients 5-9 days after implantation and was successfully treated by thrombolysis or balloon angioplasty in five patients. Bleeding complications occurred in nine patients, five of whom required blood transfusions. Angiography showed long term vessel patency after 4-6 months in 31 (76%) of the 41 patients who were followed up, restenosis in six (14%), and reocclusion in four (10%). Late restenosis or reocclusion was found in five (15%) of 33 patients with a single stent in contrast to five (63%) of eight patients with multiple stents. CONCLUSIONS--Balloon-expandable intracoronary stenting is a feasible method for treating the acute complications of balloon angioplasty. It reduced the rate of restenosis for single stent implantation. Subacute thrombotic events must be regarded as previously unknown and serious complications.