Author(s): Komatsu R, Ueda M, Naruko T, Kojima A, Becker AE
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Experimental animal studies have shown that coronary stenting induces neointimal proliferation. However, the histopathological events after coronary stenting in humans have not been studied systematically. METHODS AND RESULTS: We investigated 11 stented coronary arteries (9 Palmaz-Schatz stents, 1 Wiktor stent, and 1 ACS Multi-Link stent) obtained from 11 patients who had died 2 days to 21 months after stenting. We focused on gross, histological, and immunohistochemical aspects of the repair processes. Two patients developed symptoms of restenosis. Serial sections were stained with antibodies against smooth muscle cells (SMCs), macrophages, and endothelial cells. At 9 and 12 days after stenting, the stent sites showed thrombus formation with early formation of neointima composed of abundant macrophages and alpha-actin-negative spindle cells. From 64 days on, all sites with stenting showed a distinct layer of neointima, albeit to varying degrees. In nonrestenotic lesions, neointimal thickening was markedly less than in restenotic lesions but without qualitative differences; the neointima contained macrophages but was composed predominantly of alpha-actin-positive SMCs. CONCLUSIONS: These observations strongly support the concept that neointimal proliferation in humans is a process of staged redifferentiation of SMCs, which may cause in-stent stenosis. Moreover, the exuberant neointimal proliferation with accumulation of macrophages and extensive neovascularization at sites of stent restenosis suggests a role for organization of mural thrombus.
This article was published in Circulation
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Cardiology