Coronary-stent placement is a new technique in which a balloon-expandable, stainless-steel, slotted tube is implanted at the site of a coronary stenosis. The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of stent placement and standard balloon angioplasty on angiographically detected restenosis and clinical outcomes. We randomly assigned 410 patients with symptomatic coronary disease to elective placement of a Palmaz-Schatz stent or to standard balloon angioplasty. Coronary angiography was performed at base line, immediately after the procedure, and six months later. The patients who underwent stenting had a higher rate of procedural success than those who underwent standard balloon angioplasty (96.1 percent vs. 89.6 percent, P = 0.011), a larger immediate increase in the diameter of the lumen (1.72 ±0.46 vs. 1.23 ±0.48 mm, P<0.001), and a larger luminal diameter immediately after the procedure (2.49 ±0.43 vs. 1.99 ±0.47 mm, P<0.001). At six months, the patients with stented lesions continued to have a larger luminal diameter (1.74 ±0.60 vs. 1.56 ±0.65 mm, P = 0.007) and a lower rate of restenosis (31.6 percent vs. 42.1 percent, P = 0.046) than those treated with balloon angioplasty. There were no coronary events (death; myocardial infarction; coronary-artery bypass surgery; vessel closure, including stent thrombosis; or repeated angioplasty) in 80.5 percent of the patients in the stent group and 76.2 percent of those in the angioplasty group (P = 0.16). Revascularization of the original target lesion because of recurrent myocardial ischemia was performed less frequently in the stent group than in the angioplasty group (10.2 percent vs. 15.4 percent, P = 0.06). In selected patients, placement of an intracoronary stent, as compared with balloon angioplasty, results in an improved rate of procedural success, a lower rate of angiographically detected restenosis, a similar rate of clinical events after six months, and a less frequent need for revascularization of the original coronary lesion.
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