INTRODUCTION: The most effective strategy for bifurcation stenting is currently undefined. The Culotte technique was developed as a method that ensures complete bifurcation lesion coverage. However, it went out of favour due to a high rate of restenosis when utilizing bare metal stents. Drug-eluting stents reduce the rate of restenosis and need for repeat lesion revascularization compared with bare metal stents; we re-evaluated this technique with drug-eluting stent implantation. METHODS: Between April 2002 and October 2003, 207 patients were treated for at least one bifurcation lesion with drug-eluting stent implantation to both the main vessel and side branch. Of these, 23 were treated with the Culotte technique (11.1%) for 24 lesions. Sirolimus-eluting stents were used in 8.3%, and paclitaxel-eluting stents in the remaining 92.7%. RESULTS: Clinical follow-up was obtained in 100%. One patient had a myocardial infarction at 14 days (maximum rise in creatine kinase 872IU/L) related to thrombosis occurring in another lesion, and underwent repeat revascularization. There were no episodes of stent thrombosis in the Culotte lesions. At eight months follow-up, there were no deaths and no further myocardial infarction. One patient required target lesion revascularization (TLR), and a second underwent target vessel revascularization. The cumulative rates of survival-free of TLR and major adverse cardiac events were 94.7% and 84.6% respectively. Angiographic follow-up was obtained in 16 patients (69.6%) at a mean period of 8.3±4.3months. The late lumen loss for the main vessel and side branch were 0.48±0.56 mm and 0.53±0.33 mm respectively, with binary restenosis rates of 18.8% and 12.5%. CONCLUSIONS: In this small study of bifurcation stenting utilizing the Culotte technique with drug-eluting stent implantation, there was a low rate of major adverse events and need for target lesion revascularization at eight months, when compared with historical data of bifurcation stenting with bare metal stents. Further re-evaluation of this technique utilizing drug-eluting stents, is warranted in the setting of larger randomized studies.

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International Journal of Cardiovascular Interventions
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Hoye, A., van Mieghem, C., Ong, A., Aoki, J., Granillo, G. R., Valgimigli, M., … Serruys, P. (2005). Percutaneous therapy of bifurcation lesions with drug-eluting stent implantation: The Culotte technique revisited. International Journal of Cardiovascular Interventions, 7(1), 36–40. doi:10.1080/14628840510011225