Aims: Previous studies suggested that implantation with a 1st-generation DES was associated with coronary endothelial dysfunction, which was associated with Rho-kinase activation. Second-generation drug-eluting stents (DESs) may preserve coronary endothelial function in stented coronary arteries; however, because of method-ological limitations, further study is needed to clarify the association between 2nd-generation DESs and coronary endothelial dysfunction. Methods: We retrospectively analysed the CuVIC trial database, where we identified 112 patients who under-went coronary stenting in the left coronary arteries with either a bare metal stent (BMS, n=53) or 2nd-generation DES (n =59). We compared vasomotions of target vessels with stents and non-target vessels without stents. Fur-thermore, we measured the Rho-kinase activation detected in mononucleocytes from aortic and coronary sinus blood. Results: ACh-induced vasoconstrictive responses of target vessels were not enhanced with a 2nd-generation DES (45±21% vs. 44±20%, P=0.56, paired t-test), but significantly enhanced in the coronary arteries with a BMS (50±18% vs. 42±20%, P =0.002). Rho-kinase activation did not differ between patients with a BMS and 2nd-generation DES. In the target vessels with a BMS, large late lumen loss and acute coronary syndrome (ACS) at the index percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) were associated with ACh-induced enhanced coronary vaso-constrictive responses. Conclusions: Evaluation of ACh-induced vasomotion of target vessels comparing with non-target vessels revealed that 2nd-generation DESs were not associated with coronary endothelial dysfunction in target vessels, nor activation of Rho-kinase in the coronary sinus blood 6-8 months after stenting.
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