In-stent restenosis (ISR) remains a therapeutic challenge in the current drug-eluting stent (DES) era. Vascular brachytherapy (VBT) is a therapeutic option for ISR, but data about the outcomes of combination therapy with VBT and stenting for ISR lesions are sparse. We retrospectively analyzed patients who presented with ISR at our institution from 2003 through 2017. Three treatment arms were compared: VBT alone, VBT plus bare-metal stent (BMS), and VBT plus DES. Clinical, procedural, and 1-year outcome data were collected. Follow-up was obtained by phone calls and clinic visits. The patient cohort included 461 patients (764 ISR lesions). Of these, 333 patients (533 lesions) were treated with VBT alone, 89 patients (158 lesions) with VBT plus BMS, and 39 patients (73 lesions) with VBT plus DES. There were no significant differences in baseline characteristics among the 3 groups except for more patients with a remote smoking history in the VBT plus BMS (43.8%) and VBT plus DES groups (56.4%), and more patients with history of peripheral vascular disease (39.5%) and congestive heart failure (27%) in the VBT plus DES group. The most common clinical presentation was unstable angina (64.6%). In the VBT plus DES group, 10.3% of patients presented with MI, versus 5.5% in the VBT alone group and 2.2% in the VBT plus BMS group. At 1-year follow-up, the VBT plus DES group had higher rates of target vessel revascularization-major adverse cardiovascular events (38.5%) than the VBT plus BMS (21.3%) and VBT alone (15.6%) groups (p = 0.002). In conclusion, in patients with ISR, combination therapy with VBT and stenting at the same setup is associated with worse outcomes at 12 months and, if possible, should be avoided.
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