Reduction in Thrombotic Events With Heparin-Coated Palmaz-Schatz Stents in Normal Porcine Coronary Arteries.
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Background The use of stents improves the result after balloon coronary angioplasty. Thrombogenicity of stents is, however, a concern. In the present study, we compared stents with an antithrombotic coating with regular stents. Methods and Results Regular stents were placed in coronary arteries of pigs receiving no aspirin (group 1; n=8) or aspirin over 4 weeks (group 2, n=10) or 12 weeks (group 3, n=9). Stents coated with heparin (antithrombin III uptake, 5 pmol/stent) were placed in 7 pigs that did not receive aspirin (group 4). The other animals received aspirin and coated stents with a heparin activity of 12 pmol antithrombin III/stent (group 5, n=10) or 20 pmol/stent (group 6, n=10; group 7, n=10). Quantitative arteriography was performed at implantation and after 4 (groups 1, 2, and 4 through 6) or 12 weeks (groups 3 and 7). In an additional 5 animals, five regular and five coated stents (20 pmol/stent) were placed and explanted after 5 days for examination of the early responses to the implants. Thrombotic occlusion of the regular stent occurred in 9 of 27 in groups 1 through 3. However, in 0 of 30 of the animals receiving high-activity heparin-coated stents (groups 5 through 7), thrombotic stent occlusion was observed (P<.001). Histological analysis at 4 weeks showed that the neointima in group 6 was thicker compared with its control group 2 (259±104 and 117±36 µm, P<.01), but at 12 weeks the thickness was similar (152±61 and 198±49 µm, respectively). Comparison at 5 days suggested delayed endothelialization of the coating.