Site-specific delivery of iloprost during experimental angioplasty suppresses smooth muscle cell proliferation.PURPOSE:The authors have previously reported that intramural delivery of iloprost during angioplasty suppresses local platelet aggregation at 1 hour in undiseased porcine arteries. In this study, the authors sought to quantify the effect of such treatment on medial vascular smooth muscle cell proliferation, an event implicated in the development of intimal hyperplasia.MATERIALS AND METHODS:Three Yorkshire pigs underwent percutaneous transluminal angioplasty with hydrogel-coated balloons for a total of 10 iloprost-treated (experimental) and 10 saline-treated (control) arterial sites. The balloons were prepared with previously reported techniques and loaded with 2.25 microg of iloprost for the experimental sites. On the eighth day after angioplasty, these sites were harvested and prepared for immunohistochemical staining. Thin (4 microm) sections of the specimens were stained with use of monoclonal antibody to proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA). Appropriate positive and negative controls were used. Approximately 350-500 vascular smooth muscle cells were randomly counted under high power (100x) by an experienced physician who was blinded to the origin of the specimen. A PCNA index (%) was calculated as follows: [(#PCNA [+] cells)/(#PCNA [+] cells + #PCNA [-] cells)]x 100. A paired t test was used for statistical comparison.RESULTS:The PCNA indices for eight (n = 8) paired large vessels (iliac, carotid, subclavian) were 7.98 (+/- 1.8)%, for the iloprost-treated experimental sites, and 14.58 (+/- 3.8)% for the saline-treated control sites. This difference was statistically significant (P = .003). One large vessel pair was not available for analysis. When the pair of renal arteries of animal 3 were included (n = 9), the PCNA indices were 8.32 (+/- 2.3)% for the experimental sites, and 13.79 (+/- 4.2)% for the control sites. The differences were again significant (P = .01).CONCLUSION:Intraarterial site-specific delivery of iloprost during angioplasty with drug-loaded, hydrogel-coated balloons significantly suppresses medial smooth muscle cells in swine at the expected peak period of proliferation of 7 days after angioplasty.