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Correlation Between Degree of Neointimal Hyperplasia and Incidence and Characteristics of Neoatherosclerosis as Assessed by Optical Coherence Tomography

      Emerging evidence suggests that neointimal degenerative changes with development of neoatherosclerosis (NA) may represent an important mechanism for late stent failure. The aim of the present study was to investigate the relation between degree of neointimal hyperplasia and incidence and characteristics of NA using optical coherence tomography. We identified a total of 252 stents with mean neointimal thickness (NIT) >100 μm in 212 patients: 100 bare metal stents (BMSs) and 152 drug-eluting stents (DESs). Based on the values of mean NIT, we divided stents into tertiles and compared neointimal characteristics among the 3 groups. NA was defined as the presence of lipid-laden intima and/or calcification inside the stent. In both BMS and DES, there was a difference in the prevalence of lipid-laden intima among the tertiles (18.2% vs 36.4% vs 47.1%, p = 0.042 [BMS]; 19.6% vs 56.9% vs 88.0%, p <0.001 [DES]). However, no difference in the prevalence of in-stent calcification was observed (21.2% vs 21.2% vs 2.9%, p = 0.053 [BMS]; 5.9% vs 9.8% vs 2.0%, p = 0.252 [DES]). In a multivariate model adjusting for stent type, follow-up duration, conventional coronary risk factors, statin, and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor or angiotensin II receptor blockade use, mean NIT was independently associated with the presence of NA (odds ratio 2.53, 95% confidence interval 1.96 to 3.27, p <0.001). This study demonstrates the presence of a positive correlation between degree of neointimal hyperplasia after stent implantation and presence of lipid-laden intima. This association is independent from stent type and time from implantation and suggests a possible pathogenic link between the two processes.
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