Objectives The aim of this study was to compare the effects of single drug-eluting stents (DES) on porcine coronary function distal to the stent in vivo and in vitro. Background The mechanism of endothelial dysfunction occurring in human coronary conduit arteries up to 9 months after DES implantation is unknown. Methods A sirolimus-eluting stent (SES), paclitaxel-eluting stent (PES), and a bare-metal stent (BMS) were implanted in the 3 coronary arteries of 11 pigs. After 5 weeks, in vivo responses in distal coronary flow to different doses of bradykinin (BK) and nitrates were measured. In vitro, vasodilation to BK and nitrates, as well as vasoconstriction to endothelin (ET)-1 were assessed in both distal coronary conduit and small arteries. In addition, contributions of nitric oxide (NO) and endothelium-derived hyperpolarizing factors (EDHFs) and cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) responses to BK-stimulation were determined in vitro. Results Both DES did not alter in vivo distal vasomotion. In vitro distal conduit and small arterial responses to BK were also unaltered; DES did not alter the BK-induced increase in cGMP. However, after NO synthase blockade, PES showed a reduced BK-response in distal small arteries as compared with BMS and SES (p <0.05). The ET-1–induced vasoconstriction and vascular smooth muscle cell function were unaltered. Conclusions In this study of single stenting in healthy porcine coronaries for 5 weeks, SES did not affect distal coronary vascular function, whereas PES altered distal endothelial function of small arteries under conditions of reduced NO bioavailability. Therefore, specifically the EDH-component of microvascular function seems affected by PES.
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