In-hospital and one-year economic outcomes after coronary stenting or balloon angioplasty: Results from a randomized clinical trial

David J. Cohen, Harlan M. Krumholz, Craig A. Sukin, Kalon K.L. Ho, Richard B. Siegrist, Michael Cleman, Richard R. Heuser, Jeffrey A. Brinker, Jeffrey W. Moses, Michael P. Savage, Katherine Detre, Martin B. Leon, Donald S. Bairn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Coronary stenting has been shown to improve initial success, reduce angiographic restenosis, and reduce the need for repeat revascularization compared with conventional balloon angioplasty (PTCA). Although previous studies have demonstrated that initial hospital costs for stenting are considerably higher than those for conventional PTCA, the impact of coronary stenting on long-term medical care costs remains unknown. Methods and Results: Between January 1991 and June 1993, 207 consecutive patients with symptomatic coronary disease requiring revascularization of a single coronary lesion were randomized to receive initial treatment by either PTCA (n = 105) or Palmaz-Schatz coronary stent implantation (n=102) in the multicenter STRESS trial. Detailed resource utilization and cost data were collected for each patient's initial hospitalization and for any subsequent hospital visits for 1 year after randomization. Compared with conventional angioplasty, coronary stenting resulted in additional catheterization laboratory costs, increased vascular complications, and longer length of stay. Initial hospital costs were thus ≃$2200 higher for stenting than for PTCA ($9738±3248 versus $7505±5015; P<.001). Over the first year of follow- up, however, patients assigned to initial stenting were less likely to require rehospitalization for a cardiac condition and underwent fewer subsequent revascularization procedures. Follow-up medical care costs thus tended to be lower for stenting than for conventional angioplasty ($1918±4841 versus $3359±7100, P=.21). Nonetheless, cumulative 1-year medical care costs remained higher for patients undergoing initial stenting ($11 656±5674 versus $10 865 ± 9073, P<.001). Even after adjustment for the higher incidence of vascular complications in the stent group, total 1-year costs were $300 higher for stenting than for balloon angioplasty. Conclusions: Elective coronary stenting, as performed in the randomized STRESS trial, increased total 1-year medical care costs by ≃$800 per patient compared with conventional angioplasty. Future studies will be necessary to determine whether ongoing refinements in stent design, implantation techniques, and anticoagulation regimens can narrow this cost difference further by reducing stent-related vascular complications or length of stay.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2480-2487
Number of pages8
Issue number9
StatePublished - Nov 1 1995


  • angioplasty
  • coronary disease
  • cost-benefit analysis
  • stents
  • trials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)

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