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Intracoronary Multi-link stents: experience in 218 patients using aspirin alone

Abstract

Objectives To assess procedural outcome, complications, and clinical follow up in 218 patients who underwent treatment with 297 Multi-link (Guidant) stents implanted without the use of intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) or quantitative coronary angiography (QCA), and using aspirin alone as antiplatelet therapy.

Methods The case records and angiograms were reviewed and the patients were contacted by telephone to determine their symptoms and any adverse events at follow up. Data were analysed using Fisher’s exact test.

Results Of the 218 patients included in the study, 45 had multivessel intracoronary intervention, and 55 had unstable angina. The mean (SD) length of hospital stay following the procedure was 2.0 (2.1) days. There were two early deaths at less than 30 days, and two deaths during follow up at more than 100 days. Ten patients suffered complications during the first 30 days: four had subacute stent thrombosis, of whom two died and two were treated successfully with coronary artery bypass grafting; five had a non-Q wave myocardial infarction; and one had a femoral false aneurysm. Patient outcome was analysed according to stent diameter (3.0 mm or less, or 3.5 mm or more) and by angina status (stable or unstable). In patients in whom at least one stent was 3.0 mm diameter, four of 86 patients suffered acute stent occlusion, whereas in the 132 patients in whom all stents were at least 3.5 mm diameter there were no cases of stent occlusion (p = 0.02). In the unstable angina group two of 55 patients suffered acute stent occlusion compared to two of 163 patients in the stable angina group (NS). In patients with unstable angina and at least one stent of 3.0 mm diameter, the acute occlusion rate was 7.1% (two of 28 patients). Three of the four patients with stent occlusion had undergone complex procedures. Twenty eight patients were restudied for recurrent symptoms during the follow up period. Of these, eight patients had restenosis within their stent. In seven of these patients the stent size was 3.0 mm diameter, and in the remaining patient the stent size was 4.0 mm diameter. Three of the 28 patients restudied had developed new disease remote from the stented site, and 17 had patent stents and no significant other coronary lesion.

Conclusions This study suggests that coronary intervention using the Multi-link stent is safe and effective using aspirin alone, without IVUS or QCA, when stent diameter is greater than 3.0 mm. All cases of stent occlusion in this series occurred in patients in whom at least one stent was 3.0 mm diameter, with stent occlusion being higher in patients with unstable angina compared to those with stable angina. Additional antiplatelet therapy may be beneficial in those patients in whom Multi-link stent diameter is less than 3.5 mm, particularly in those with unstable angina, but is not necessary for patients receiving Multi-link stents of 3.5 mm diameter or greater.

  • intracoronary Multi-link stents
  • aspirin
  • stent occlusion

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