Intracoronary irradiation with iridium-192 reduces the rates of stent restenosis but is associated with a higher rate of late thrombosis and risk of myocardial infarction.

After coronary stenting, patients with angina have a high risk of in-stent restenosis. The treatment options for restenosis are limited but low-dose internal radiotherapy has recently emerged as a new way to prevent this complication.

A US, double-blind, randomised trial, published in the 25 January issue of New England Journal of Medicine investigated the role of radiation therapy in the treatment of in-stent restenosis (N Engl J Med 2001, 344:250-256).

Martin B. Leon from the Cardiovascular Research Foundation, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York and colleagues from seven other US cardiology centres studied 252 patients in whom in-stent restenosis had developed. They found that intracoronary irradiation with iridium-192 resulted in lower rates of clinical and angiographic restenosis (28.2%), when compared to a placebo...

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