AIMS: In percutaneous coronary intervention for de-novo coronary bifurcation lesions, the optimal technique for provisional side-branch stenting is still a matter of debate. We tested whether in this setting culotte stenting reduces the incidence of restenosis as compared with T-and-protrusion (TAP) stenting.
METHODS AND RESULTS: This trial included 300 patients with a coronary bifurcation lesion requiring a side-branch stent. Patients were randomly assigned to culotte stenting or TAP stenting using drug-eluting stents in a 1:1 fashion. Primary endpoint was maximal per cent diameter stenosis of the bifurcation lesion at 9-month angiographic follow-up. As clinical endpoints we assessed target lesion re-intervention (TLR) and target lesion failure (composite of cardiac death, target vessel myocardial infarction, and TLR).
Angiographic follow-up was available in 91% of the patients. After culotte stenting, the maximum per cent diameter stenosis in the treated bifurcation lesion was 21 ± 20% as compared with 27 ± 25% after TAP stenting (P = 0.038). The respective corresponding binary restenosis rates were 6.5 and 17% (P = 0.006). The 1-year incidence of TLR was 6.0% after culotte stenting vs. 12.0% after T-stenting (P = 0.069). Target lesion failure occurred in 6.7% of the culotte group and in 12.0% of the TAP group (P = 0.11). Only one patient of the culotte group incurred a definite stent thrombosis during 1-year follow-up.
CONCLUSIONS: Compared with the TAP stenting, culotte stenting was associated with a significantly lower incidence of angiographic restenosis.