OBJECTIVES: This study was performed to assess whether angiography six months after coronary balloon angioplasty or stent implantation has an influence on clinical management and one-year outcome. BACKGROUND: The Benestent II study randomized 827 patients to balloon angioplasty or stent implantation. A subrandomization was undertaken allocating patients to six-month clinical follow-up (CF) or clinical and angiographic follow-up (AF). METHODS: Seven hundred and six patients (349 CF and 357 AF) had no intercurrent angiography so that restenosis and disease progression elsewhere remained unknown until the time of six- month follow-up. These two groups, which were well matched at enrolment, were compared with respect to symptoms, medication and major cardiac events defined as death, myocardial infarction and need for revascularization at six and 12 months. RESULTS: At six- month follow-up, 53 (15%) of the CF and 76 (21%) of the AF patients had stable angina (p = 0.041), while 5 (1%) and 4 (1%) had symptoms of unstable angina. At 12-month follow-up, 44 (13%) patients in both groups had stable angina, and only 1 patient in the CF group had unstable angina. Seventy-seven patients (27 CF and 50 AF; p < 0.01) had major cardiac events between 6 and 12 months. Of the 349 patients in the CF group, 21 underwent repeat percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty or coronary artery bypass graft surgery between 6 and 12 months, compared with 44 of the 357 patients in the AF group (relative risk 2.05 [1.24 to 3.37], p = 0.003). CONCLUSIONS: Patients who had AF six months after balloon angioplasty or stent implantation experienced more repeat revascularization procedures than those who had CF. They also had significantly more angina at six-month follow-up but this may be due to bias.