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Implantation of paclitaxel-eluting stents in saphenous vein grafts: clinical and angiographic follow-up results from a multicentre study
  1. Rainer Hoffmann1,
  2. Tilmann Pohl2,
  3. Ralf Köster3,
  4. Ruediger Blindt1,
  5. Peter Boeckstegers2,
  6. Thomas Heitzer3
  1. 1Medical Clinic I, University RWTH Aachen, Aachen, Germany
  2. 2Medical Clinic, University Grosshadern Munich, Munich, Germany
  3. 3Medical Clinic II, University Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr R Hoffmann
    Medical Clinic I, University RWTH Aachen, Pauwelsstraβe 30, 52057 Aachen, Germany; rhoffmann{at}


Objective: To define the clinical and angiographic follow-up results after implantation of paclitaxel-eluting stents (PESs) in stenotic saphenous vein grafts (SVGs).

Design: Prospective multicentre study. Comparison with a control group.

Methods: 60 consecutive patients with 65 lesions located in 65 SVGs (mean (SD) age of vein grafts 11.3 (5.7) years) treated with PES (V-Flex Plus, 2.7 μg/mm2 paclitaxel, Cook) and 60 patients with 60 SVG lesions treated with bare metal stent (BMS) were included. Lesions had to be <20 mm in length and in grafts of 2.75–3.5 mm diameter. The 6 month angiographic follow-up was obtained on 51 lesions (79%) of the PES group and on 51 lesions (85%) of the BMS group.

Results: Baseline clinical and angiographic characteristics were comparable between both groups. At angiographic follow-up, three vein grafts in the PES group and five vein grafts in the BMS group were occluded. In-stent late lumen loss was lower in PES than in BMS (0.61 (0.81) vs 1.06 (0.72) mm, respectively; p = 0.021). In-stent binary restenosis rates were 12% vs 33%, respectively, (p = 0.012). Linear regression analysis showed BMS to be the only factor with an effect on late lumen loss (p = 0.011). Target-vessel failure rates were 18% in the PES group and 41% in the BMS group (p = 0.019), whereas major adverse cardiac event (MACE) rates at 180 days were 15% and 37%, respectively (p = 0.014).

Conclusions: Implantation of non-polymer-based PES in SVG lesions is associated with a lower late lumen loss and restenosis rate than those of BMS. There remains a substantial target-vessel failure rate and MACE rate even at 6 months owing to graft occlusion or new lesions in the graft.

  • ASPECT, Asian Paclitaxel-Eluting Stent Clinical Trial
  • BMS, bare metal stent
  • ELUTES, European evaLUation of pacliTaxel-eluting stent
  • MACE, major adverse cardiac events
  • MLD, minimal lumen diameter
  • PES, paclitaxel-eluting stent
  • SVG, saphenous vein graft
  • TIMI, thrombolysis in myocardial infarction
  • TLR, target lesion revascularisation

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  • Published Online First 29 August 2006

  • Competing interests: None.