The Particulars: Few studies have compared primary stenting approaches with balloon angioplasty in patients with atherosclerotic popliteal artery stenosis. Balloon angioplasty is the current gold standard treatment.

Data Breakdown: A trial compared primary stenting using a contemporary nitinol stent device with balloon angioplasty. At 1 year after treatment, 67.4% of patients who received the nitinol stent had patent popliteal arteries, compared with a 44.9% rate for those treated with balloon angioplasty. Outcomes at 1 year were similar for death, heart attack, amputation, and ankle brachial index, but more patients undergoing angioplasty required repeat treatment than those receiving nitinol stents.

Take Home Pearls: Treatment of popliteal artery obstructive lesions with a nitinol self-expanding stent appears to be safe and improve both target lesion revascularization rates and 1-year primary patency rates.