This in vitro study was designed to assess the contribution of three currently investigated coronary stents to the densitometric measurement of a known stenosis contained within two different sized plexiglass phantoms. These studies were performed at two concentrations of the contrast agent iopamidol (50 and 100%). The calculated minimal luminal cross-sectional area values in the control phantom ranged from 0-18% higher than the theoretical values. Insertion of a stainless steel stent (Wallstent, Schneider, Zurich or Palmaz-Schatz, Johnson and Johnson, Warren, NJ) resulted in further minor increases (less than or equal to 8% in the calculated minimal luminal cross-sectional area, except in the smaller phantom filled with 50% contrast medium. The Wiktor (tantalum) stent (Medtronic, Minneapolis, MN) had the largest impact of the three stents depending on the concentration of iopamidol (100% contrast medium: 9-13% values above control; 50% contrast medium; 23-56% higher). We conclude that although densitometry may overestimate the minimal luminal cross-sectional area in stented vessels, this effect is usually minor with stainless steel stents. However, tantalum-containing stents may result in serious overestimation of lesion area, particularly if contrast is diluted or the vessel is not well filled.

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Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Strauss, B., Rensing, B., Reiber, J., Serruys, P., van der Giessen, W., & den Boer, A. (1991). Do stents interfere with the densitometric assessment of a coronary artery lesion. Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions, 24, 259–264. Retrieved from