Background: Although recent studies have reported that drug-coated balloons (DCB) are non-inferior to drug-eluting stents (DES) for the treatment of native coronary arteries in a specific population, there is no available information concerning vasomotion after treatment with DCB.
Aims: The aim of this study was to prospectively compare coronary vasomotion in patients with small coronary artery disease treated with DCB versus DES.
Methods: Forty-two native lesions (2.0-3.0 mm) treated in our institution were randomly assigned to the DCB arm (n=19) or the bioabsorbable polymer everolimus-eluting stents arm (n=23) after successful predilation. At eight months after treatment, endothelium-dependent and -independent vasomotion was evaluated with intracoronary infusions in incremental doses of acetylcholine (right coronary artery: low dose 5 μg, high dose 50 μg; left coronary artery: low dose 10 μg, high dose 100 μg) and nitroglycerine (200 μg). The mean lumen diameter of the distal segment, beginning 5 mm and ending 15 mm distal to the edge of the treated segment, was quantitatively measured by angiography.
Results: The luminal dimension in the treated segment did not differ between groups at the follow-up angiography. The vasoconstriction after acetylcholine infusion was less pronounced in the DCB arm than in the DES arm (low-dose: 6±13% vs –3±18%, p=0.060; high-dose: –4±17% vs –21±29%, p=0.035). The response to nitroglycerine did not differ between groups (17±13% vs 17±22%, p=0.929).
Conclusions: Vasoconstriction after acetylcholine infusion in the peri-treated region was less pronounced in the DCB arm than in the DES arm, suggesting that endothelial function in treated coronary vessels could be better preserved by DCB than by new-generation DES.