Topical application of β-radiation to reduce intimal hyperplasia after carotid artery balloon injury in rabbit: A Possible Application for Brachytherapy in Vascular Surgery

Document Type


Publication Date



Purpose: Endovascular brachytherapy for the prevention of intimal hyperplasia (IH) and restenosis after balloon/stent angioplasty has proven effective both in animal preparations and clinical trials. A variety of β-emitting isotopes and catheter-based devices have been developed for the delivery of low-dose radiation in clinical coronary and peripheral trials. No platform, however, has yet been developed for brachytherapy in concert with vascular surgical operations. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the vascular histopathologic response following balloon injury to rabbit carotid arteries with and without topically applied low-dose β-radiation.

Methods: The β-emitting isotope strontium-90 (Sr-90) was conjugated onto the matrix of polypropylene (PLYP) mesh. Rabbit carotid arteries were balloon-injured with a #2 embolectomy catheter. Six carotid arteries were wrapped with nonradioactive PLYP mesh (controls) and Sr-90 (∼90 μCi) PLYP mesh in order to deliver low-dose radiation to the vessel wall from the external (adventitial) surface. Tissue was harvested at 6 weeks and processed for histologic examination.

Results: There was consistent blockade of fibrocellular neointima formation with virtually no neointima present in all treated segments, compared to moderate neointima formation in controls. Medial thinning and smooth muscle cell (SMC) necrosis were also associated with topical brachytherapy.

Conclusion: β-Radiation applied by an externally wrapped PLYP mesh labeled with Sr-90 markedly suppressed neointima formation in an animal vascular surgical injury model. Further studies, however, are necessary to determine a suitable isotope and dosage for clinical application.



Find in your library

Off-Campus WSU Users