Cryoplasty for the Treatment of Coronary Bifurcation Stenoses Following Main Vessel Stenting


Address for reprints: Alan Schob, Cardiac Cath Laboratory, Miami VA Medical Center, 1201 NW 16th Street, 111A, Miami, FL 33125. Fax: (305)-324-3116; e-mail:,



This retrospective study sought to assess the safety and clinical efficacy of cryoplasty for treatment of side-branch stenoses following main vessel stenting in coronary bifurcation lesions.


Cryoplasty prevents restenosis by reducing smooth muscle proliferation and extracellular matrix synthesis. Clinical effectiveness has been demonstrated in the peripheral circulation. Treatment of coronary bifurcation lesions remains a challenge. We used a novel strategy of main vessel stenting combined with side-branch cryoplasty to treat high-grade stenoses following main vessel stenting.


Eighteen patients with bifurcation lesions had significant plaque shift into a side branch after main vessel intervention. Drug-eluting stents were placed in the main vessel and cryoplasty was performed on the side-branch vessel. Quantitative coronary analysis was performed on all side-branch vessels both pre– and post–main vessel stenting. All patients had clinical follow-up 3 months or more after cryoplasty including either nuclear stress testing or diagnostic coronary angiogram.


Mean percent stenosis decreased from 80.6% post main vessel stenting to 24.8% following cryoplasty (P < 0.0001). Of the 17 patients who had pre-cryoplasty nuclear stress testing 1 patient had ischemia identified in the distribution of the treated vessel at follow-up. Five patients had follow up angiography. One patient had restenosis, the other 2 were unchanged. There was a low incidence of MACE.


In this first report of its use in the coronary circulation, cryoplasty for bifurcation side-branch disease was safe and associated with a low rate of clinical recurrence in carefully selected patients. (J Interven Cardiol 2013;26:239–244)