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Intimal hyperplasia (IH) is a leading cause of obstruction of vascular interventions, including arterial stents, bypass grafts and arteriovenous grafts and fistulae. Proposals to account for arterial stent-associated IH include wall damage, low wall shear stress (WSS), disturbed flow and, although not widely recognized, wall hypoxia. The common non-planarity of arterial geometry and flow, led us to develop a bare-metal, nitinol, self-expanding stent with three-dimensional helical-centreline geometry. This was deployed in one common carotid artery of healthy pigs, with a straight-centreline, but otherwise identical (conventional) stent deployed contralaterally. Both stent types deformed the arteries, but the helical-centreline device additionally deformed them helically and caused swirling of intraluminal flow. At sacrifice, one month post stent deployment, histology revealed significantly less IH in the helical-centreline than straight-centreline stented vessels. Medial cross-sectional area was not significantly different in helical-centreline than straight-centreline stented vessels. By contrast, luminal cross-sectional area was significantly larger in helical-centreline than straight-centreline stented vessels. Mechanisms considered to account for those results include enhanced intraluminal WSS and enhanced intraluminal blood-vessel wall mass transport, including of oxygen, in the helical-centreline stented vessels. Consistent with the latter proposal, adventitial microvessel density was lower in the helical-centreline stented than straight-centreline stented vessels.

Original publication




Journal article


J r soc interface

Publication Date





blood–wall oxygen transport, helical-centreline arterial stent, intimal hyperplasia, swirling intraluminal blood flow, vessel wall hypoxia, wall shear stress, Animals, Blood Flow Velocity, Carotid Arteries, Hyperplasia, Models, Cardiovascular, Stents, Sus scrofa, Tunica Intima