Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) has been widely used in the treatment of atherosclerosis, while in-stent restenosis (ISR) has not been completely resolved. Studies have shown that changes in intravascular mechanical environment are related to ISR. Hence, an in-depth understanding of the effects of stent intervention on vascular mechanics is important for clinically optimizing stent implantation and relieving ISR. Nine rabbits with stenotic carotid artery were collected by balloon injury. Intravascular stents were implanted into different longitudinal positions (proximal, middle and distal relative to the stenotic area) of the stenotic vessels for numerical simulations. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) scanning was performed to reconstruct the three-dimensional configuration of the stented carotid artery and blood flow velocity waveforms were collected by Doppler ultrasound. The numerical simulations were performed through direct solution of Naiver-Stokes equation in ANSYS. Results showed that the distributions of time-averaged wall shear stress (TAWSS), oscillating shear index (OSI) and relative residual time (RRT) in near-end segment were distinctively different from other regions of the stent which considered to promote restenosis for all three models. Spearman rank-correlation analysis showed a significant correlation between hemodynamic descriptors and the stent longitudinal positions (r = -0.718, r = 0.898, r = 0.818, p < 0.01). Histology results of the near-end segment showed neointima thickening deepened with the longitudinal positions of stent which was consistent with the numerical simulations. The results suggest that stent implantation can promote restenosis at the near-end segment. As the stenting position moves to distal end, the impact on ISR is more significant.
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