OBJECTIVES: This study sought to evaluate the long-term arterial response after sirolimus-eluting stent implantation. BACKGROUND: Sirolimus-eluting stents are effective in inhibiting neointimal hyperplasia without affecting plaque volume behind the stent struts at six months. METHODS: Serial quantitative intravascular ultrasound and computer-assisted grayscale value analysis over four years were performed in 23 event-free patients treated with sirolimus-eluting stents. RESULTS: In the first two years, the mean plaque volume (155.5 ± 42.8 mm 3 post-procedure and 156.8 ± 57.7 mm 3 at two years, p = 0.86) and plaque compositional change expressed as mean percent hypoechogenic tissue of the plaque behind the stent struts (78.9 ± 8.6% post-procedure and 78.2 ± 8.9% at two years, p = 0.67) did not significantly change. However, significant plaque shrinking (change in plaque volume = -18.4 mm 3, p = 0.02) with an increase in plaque echogenicity (change in percent hypoechogenic tissue = -7.8%, p < 0.0001) was observed between two and four years. The mean neointimal volume increased over four years from 0 to 8.4 ± 5.8 mm 3 (p < 0.0001). However, no further statistically significant change occurred between two and four years (7.0 ± 6.7 mm 3 vs. 8.4 ± 5.8 mm 3, p = 0.25). CONCLUSIONS: Between two and four years after sirolimus-eluting stent implantation, peri-stent tissue shrank with a concomitant increase in echogenicity. These intravascular ultrasound findings suggest that late chronic artery responses may evolve for up to four years after sirolimus-eluting stent implantation. In addition, the fact that the neointima does not significantly change from two to four years may suggest that the biological phenomenon of a delayed healing response has begun to subside.

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Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacc.2005.06.076, hdl.handle.net/1765/59784
Journal Journal of the American College of Cardiology
Aoki, J, Abizaid, A.C, Serruys, P.W.J.C, Ong, A.T.L, Boersma, H, Sousa, J.E, & Bruining, N. (2005). Evaluation of four-year coronary artery response after sirolimus-eluting stent implantation using serial quantitative intravascular ultrasound and computer-assisted grayscale value analysis for plaque composition in event-free patients. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 46(9), 1670–1676. doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2005.06.076