Subacute stent thrombosis and the anticoagulation controversy: Changes in drug therapy, operator technique, and the impact of intravascular ultrasound

Issam Moussa, Carlo Di Mario, Lucia Di Francesco, Bernhard Reimers, Simonetta Blengino, Antonio Colombo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Clinical trials have shown that stents are superior to other catheter- based coronary interventions in terms of reduced complications and improved long-term efficacy. With utilization of high-pressure balloon inflation and intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) guidance, stent implantation can now be performed safely without anticoagulation (i.e., with lower rates of stent thrombasis and vascular complications). In 2 recent prospective clinical trials, stent thrombasis occurred in 3.5% of cases despite anticoagulant therapy, which resulted in an average of 7% vascular and bleeding complications. Initial use of IVUS during traditional stent deployment showed that 80% of stents were underexpanded and led to the hypothesis that stent thrombasis might be decreased as a result of optimal stent placement under IVUS guidance without the need for anticoagulation. In a prospectiveclinical trial to test this hypothesis, three factors were found to reduce stent thrombosis: full stent expansion, complete apposition to the vessel wall, and full lesion coverage. Predictors of thrombotic risk in this era of high- pressure stent deployment without anticoagulation include low ejection fraction, residual dissections, slow flow, multiple stents per lesion, and smaller postprocedure stent luminal diameter. To optimize stent expansion, stent dilation should be performed using a mean inflation pressure of 18 atm with a noncompliant or minimally compliant balloon sized to the vessel being treated (B/V ratio = 1.1). Controversy still remains about the best poststent antiplatelet regimen, and results of a recent trial should indicate whether heparin coating provides additional protection from stent thrombasis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-17
Number of pages5
JournalThe American Journal of Cardiology
Issue number3 A
Publication statusPublished - Aug 14 1996


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

Cite this