Neointimal vascularization and intimal thickening in response to self-expanding stents: A swine model

Rona Shofti, Fermin Tio, Rafael Beyar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Neovascularization has been suggested as a biological response to vessel injury and associated with restenosis. Self-expanding (SE) stents generate a lasting force on the arterial wall and may lead to an increased arterial response with time. OBJECTIVES: To characterize the process of neovascularization with SE stents, and to correlate it with vascular injury, inflammation and intimal proliferation. METHODS: Sixty-nine SE stents were implanted in 37 non-atherosclerotic pigs. Detailed, multisection histological examination was performed at 15 days, 1, 3 and 6 months post-deployment. Neovascularization in addition to other histologic parameters where determined and scored. RESULTS: Intravascular-ultrasound-based average vessel diameter was 3.3 ± 0.04 mm; stent size was 3.75 ± 0.35 mm leading to an oversizing ratio of 1.14 ± 0.15. Intimal thickness (IT), inflammatory score (IFS) and vascularization score (VAS) reached peak values at three months (IT = 344 ± 202 μm, IFS = 0.91 ± 0.5, and VAS = 1.56 ± 0.8). In contrast, the injury score (INS) continued to increase at all time-points, with maximum value at six months (INS = 1.6 ± 0.7). Both vascularization and inflammation indices increased with an increase in the injury score (p < 0.01). When vessels were divided according to vascularization score (VAS <1.5 and ≥1.5) there was a significant difference in IT. CONCLUSION: Neovascularization in response to SE stents is a time-dependent phenomenon and interacts with injury and Inflammation. The remodeling of the vessel wall caused by the sustained force of the SE stent on the arterial wall enhances the formation of neovascularization. Neointimal formation is related to the degree of neovascularization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-67
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Cardiovascular Interventions
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Animal model
  • Self-expanding
  • Stent
  • Vascularization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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