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Stent malapposition, strut coverage and atherothrombotic prolapse after percutaneous coronary interventions in ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction

Leone, Antonio Mariaa,*; Rebuzzi, Antonio Giuseppea,b,*; Burzotta, Francescoa,b; De Maria, Giovanni Luigib; Gardi, Andreab; Basile, Eloisab; Cialdella, Piob; D’Amario, Domenicoa; Paraggio, Lazzarob; Porto, Italoa; Aurigemma, Cristinaa; Niccoli, Giampaoloa,b; Trani, Carloa,b; Crea, Filippoa,b

Journal of Cardiovascular Medicine: March 2019 - Volume 20 - Issue 3 - p 122–130
doi: 10.2459/JCM.0000000000000749
Research articles: Interventional cardiology

Aims Stent implantation in ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) patients can be challenging and sometimes associated with immediate and long-term suboptimal results. Stent malapposition and strut uncoverage, predictors of stent thrombosis, are frequently detected in STEMI patients at medium/long-term follow-up. Nevertheless, data at a short follow-up are missing. We aimed to assess the extent of stent malapposition and struts coverage in the subacute phase of STEMI after stent implantation in primary or rescue percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI).

Methods STEMI patients undergone primary or rescue PCI and scheduled for a second coronary angiography after 2–7 days were enrolled. During the second procedure, frequency domain optical coherence tomography (FD-OCT) was performed to assess percentage of malapposed struts (MS%), percentage area of malapposition (MA%), percentage of uncovered struts (US%), percentage area of atherothrombotic prolapse (PA%) and optical coherence tomography thrombus score (OCT-TS).

Results Twenty patients were included and 21 stents (19 865 struts) were evaluated. Strut uncoverage was relatively limited [US% = 11.1 (8.1–13.6) %]. Stent malapposition was observed frequently, even if at low degree [MS% = 6.4 (3.3–13.3) %, MA% = 1.80 (0.46–2.76) %] as well as atherothrombotic prolapse [PA% = 0.09 (0.00–1.06) %]. Both MA% and PA% were significantly related to residual OCT-TS (R = −0.52, P = 0.02 and R = 0.71, P < 0.001, respectively), use of thrombolysis (P = 0.001 and P = 0.004, respectively) and time elapsed from PCI to FD-OCT analysis (P = 0.001).

Conclusion In the subacute phase after stenting in STEMI patients, strut uncoverage is relatively limited, while stent malapposition and atherothrombotic prolapse are common albeit limited features. Residual thrombus burden influences the degree of both stent malapposition and atherothrombotic prolapse.

aFondazione Policlinico Universitario A. Gemelli IRCCS

bUniversità Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Rome, Italy

Correspondence to Antonio Maria Leone, Department of Cardiovascular Sciences, Fondazione Policlinico Universitario Agostino Gemelli, IRCCS, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Largo A. Gemelli 8, Rome 00168, Italy Tel: + 39 06 30154178; fax: + 39 06 3055535; e-mail:,

Received 4 March, 2018

Revised 4 November, 2018

Accepted 4 December, 2018

© 2019 Italian Federation of Cardiology. All rights reserved.