We evaluated the potential of using intravascular magnetic resonance (MR)/radiofrequency (RF) to enhance vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) gene therapy of in-stent neointimal hyperplasia.By using a catheter-based approach, VEGF/lentivirus was locally transferred into 10 (five paired) bilateral femoral-iliac arteries of five hypercholesterolemic pigs, whereas the right arteries were heated up to approximately 41 degrees C by using an intravascular MR/RF system. Then, identical stents were placed immediately into the bilateral VEGF-targeted arteries to create in-stent neointimal hyperplasia. At day 60 after gene/stent interventions, the targeted arteries were harvested for histological correlation.X-Ray angiography-detectable in-stent stenoses were found in three of the arteries treated with VEGF genes only, whereas there were no in-stent stenoses in arteries treated by using MR/RF-heated VEGF genes. Correlative histological examination confirmed a 138% reduction in average thickness of neointimal hyperplasia in VEGF/RF-treated arteries compared with VEGF-only-treated arteries (P < .01).We report a potential method of using an intravascular MR/RF heating technique to enhance gene therapy of in-stent restenosis.
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