The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of drug-eluting balloons (DEB) compared with paclitaxel-eluting stents (PES) for the reduction of restenosis in small vessels.
DEB have been shown to be effective in the treatment of coronary in-stent restenosis, but data are limited regarding their efficacy in de novo disease.
BELLO (Balloon Elution and Late Loss Optimization) is a prospective, multicenter trial that randomized 182 patients with lesions located in small vessels (reference diameter <2.8 mm) to treatment with paclitaxel DEB and provisional bare-metal stenting (n = 90) or PES implantation (n = 92). The primary endpoint was noninferiority of angiographic in-stent (in-balloon) late loss with a delta of 0.25 mm. Secondary endpoints were angiographic restenosis, target lesion revascularization, and major adverse cardiac events (MACE; death, myocardial infarction, target vessel revascularization) at 6 months.
Baseline characteristics were well matched, except for a smaller vessel size in the DEB group (2.15 ± 0.27 mm vs. 2.25 ± 0.24 mm; p = 0.003). The majority (89%) of lesions involved vessels with a diameter <2.5 mm. Bailout stenting was required in 20% of lesions in the DEB group. The primary endpoint of in-stent (in-balloon) late loss was significantly less with DEB compared with PES (0.08 ± 0.38 mm vs. 0.29 ± 0.44 mm; difference −0.21; 95% CI: −0.34 to −0.09; pnoninferiority < 0.001; psuperiority = 0.001). At 6 months, DEB and PES were associated with similar rates of angiographic restenosis (8.9% vs. 14.1%; p = 0.25), target lesion revascularization (4.4% vs. 7.6%; p = 0.37), and MACE (7.8% vs. 13.2%; p = 0.77).
Treatment of small-vessel disease with a paclitaxel DEB was associated with less angiographic late loss and similar rates of restenosis and revascularization as a PES. (Balloon Elution and Late Loss Optimization [BELLO]; Study NCT01086579)