There are few clinical studies on the pathophysiological mechanisms of very late stent thrombosis (VLST). We report optical coherence tomography findings in patients with VLST and compare the findings between bare-metal stents (BMS) and drug-eluting stents (DES).
Methods and Results—
We conducted a registry of stent thrombosis at 4 North American centers with optical coherence tomography imaging programs SAFE registry (The Study of Late Stent Failure Evaluated by OCT). Images were acquired in 61 patients (42 DES and 19 BMS) presenting with definite VLST. The median duration from implantation to VLST presentation was 51.4 months in the DES and 69.9 months in the BMS group (
P=0.011). Uncovered and malapposed struts were observed in 70.5% (43/61) and 62.3% (38/61) of patients, respectively, whereas neoatherosclerosis was revealed in 49.2% (30/61). Stent underexpansion was observed in 42.4% of patients. Malapposed struts and stent underexpansion were more frequently demonstrated in DES than in BMS patients, whereas neoatherosclerosis was frequently observed in BMS (40.5% in DES and 68.4% in BMS; P=0.056). The percentage of frames with neoatherosclerosis was lower in DES than in BMS (15.56% [12.24–28.57] versus, 56.41% [40.74–70.00], respectively; P<0.001). Maximum consecutive lipid neointima length was shorter in DES than in BMS (2.4 [1.2–3.6] and 5.3 [3.0–7.0] mm; P=0.011). Conclusions—
Optical coherence tomography imaging demonstrated that VLST in DES and BMS had a wide variety of abnormal findings, such as neoatherosclerosis, uncovered strut, and malapposed strut. Neoatherosclerosis and lipid neointima were more frequently observed and had more longitudinal extension in BMS compared with DES.