Low-molecular-weight heparin reduces neointimal proliferation after coronary stent implantation in hypercholesterolemic minipigs.
BACKGROUND Intracoronary stents have been suggested as a method of reducing the restenosis rate after balloon angioplasty. Proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells is a major contributing factor to the restenosis process. Heparin and some of its derivatives have been shown to inhibit smooth muscle cell proliferation. We investigated the effect of low-molecular-weight heparin on the proliferative response after implantation of a balloon-expandable tantalum stent in previously deendothelialized coronary artery segments of hypercholesterolemic minipigs.
METHODS AND RESULTS Minipigs were fed a diet containing 2% cholesterol, starting 1 month before balloon denudation of the endothelium in a coronary artery. One month later, a stent was implanted at this site. Animals were killed after 4 weeks (group 1, n = 6) or 3 months (group 2, n = 6). Animals in group 3 (n = 6), also followed for 4 weeks after stenting, received subcutaneous low-molecular-weight heparin at a dose of 200-300 units/kg anti-factor Xa activity per day in addition to the chronic acetylsalicylic acid (100 mg/day) also administered to groups 1 and 2. Eighteen of 22 animals survived to the end of the study. Angiography revealed patent stents in all surviving animals. In group 1, histological analysis showed extensive neointimal proliferation around stent struts. Maximal neointimal thickness seen in group 1 averaged 0.93 +/- 0.11 mm, was lower after 3 months (0.8 +/- 0.14 mm) in group 2, but was significantly reduced (0.44 +/- 0.18 mm, p less than 0.01) in group 3.
CONCLUSIONS These data show a significant reduction of the neointimal proliferative response to coronary stent implantation by low-molecular-weight heparin.
- Copyright © 1992 by American Heart Association