—The fibrinolytic system is intimately involved in several processes that contribute to restenosis, including clot dissolution, cell migration, and tissue remodeling. However, the role of the individual activators (urokinase [uPA] and tissue plasminogen [tPA] activators) and inhibitors (plasminogen activator inhibitor [PAI-1]) of the fibrinolytic system in maintaining patency after coronary artery angioplasty and stenting is unclear.
Methods and Results
—We prospectively studied 159 patients with stable angina who underwent successful elective angioplasty (n=110) or stenting (n=49) of de novo native coronary artery lesions. Plasma samples were drawn at baseline (before angioplasty) and serially after angioplasty (immediately afterward and 6 hours, 24 hours, 3 days, 7 days, 1 month, 3 months, and 6 months afterward). Antigen and activity assays were performed for uPA, tPA, and PAI-1. Follow-up quantitative coronary angiography was performed in 92% of eligible patients. The overall angiographic restenosis rate (diameter stenosis >50%) was 31% (37% in PTCA patients, 17% in stented patients). At all time periods, including baseline, uPA antigen levels were significantly higher and PAI-1 antigen levels were significantly lower in patients with restenosis. Restenosis rates for patients in the upper tertile of baseline uPA antigen levels were 2-fold higher than for those in the lower 2 tertiles (46% versus 24% and 22%, respectively;
<0.004). In a stepwise regression multivariate analysis, obstruction diameter after the procedure and uPA antigen were significant predictors of follow-up diameter stenosis.
—Plasma uPA antigen levels and PAI-1 antigen levels identify patients at increased risk for restenosis after percutaneous coronary revascularization.