American Journal of Cardiovascular Drugs

, Volume 2, Issue 5, pp 323–334

Prevention of Restenosis with Antioxidants

Mechanisms and Implications


    • Department of MedicineMontreal Heart Institute
  • Jean Grégoire
    • Department of MedicineMontreal Heart Institute
  • Philippe L. L’Allier
    • Department of MedicineMontreal Heart Institute
Review Article

DOI: 10.2165/00129784-200202050-00005

Cite this article as:
Tardif, J., Grégoire, J. & L’Allier, P.L. Am J Cordiovosc Drugs (2002) 2: 323. doi:10.2165/00129784-200202050-00005


The aim of this review is to give an overview of the field of restenosis prevention with antioxidants, put in the perspective of their potential use for the prevention of atherosclerosis progression. Compelling evidence points to oxidative stress as an important trigger in the complex chain of events leading to atherosclerosis. There is also evidence that oxidative stress occurs early after angioplasty. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) can induce endothelial dysfunction and macrophage activation, resulting in the release of cytokines and growth factors that stimulate matrix remodeling and smooth muscle cell proliferation. The accumulation of new extracellular matrix and smooth muscle cells will result in the neointimal formation responsible for lumen narrowing after stent deployment and which contributes to that after balloon angioplasty. In addition, oxidation processes are involved in the cross-linking of collagen fibers, and this coupled with smooth muscle cell contraction and endothelial dysfunction may result in long-term vascular constriction or lack of adaptive vascular remodeling after balloon angioplasty.

The powerful antioxidant probucol has been shown to prevent coronary restenosis after balloon angioplasty in the Multivitamins and Probucol (MVP) trial and other clinical studies. However, prolongation of the QT interval with probucol remains a long-term safety concern.

AGI-1067, a metabolically stable analog of probucol, is a vascular protectant with strong antioxidant properties as potent to those of probucol. There has been no evidence of prolongation of the QT interval with AGI-1067 in initial clinical studies. The anti-restenosis properties of AGI-1067 are being assessed in the Canadian Antioxidant Restenosis Trial (CART)-1. Considering that oxidative stress and inflammation may persist for a prolonged period after stent placement, treatment with AGI-1067 for the entire period of risk after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) [instead of only 4 weeks in CART-1] may result in enhanced protection against luminal renarrowing. This hypothesis will be tested in the randomized, multicenter CART-2 trial. AGI-1067 has been effective at preventing atherosclerosis in all tested animal models, including the low density lipoprotein receptor-deficient and apo-E knockout mice. This has potentially important implications, as PCI and local approaches to prevent restenosis such as coated Stents are not expected to prevent atherosclerosis progression, myocardial infarction and cardiovascular death. As the ultimate goal of therapy for patients with coronary artery disease must remain prevention of disease progression and atherosclerosis-related events, CART-2 will test the value of AGI-1067 for the reduction of both post-PCI restenosis and atherosclerosis progression.

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© Adis International Limited 2002