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To assess the extent of early recoil in patients with critical limb ischemia (CLI) undergoing conventional tibial balloon angioplasty.Our hypothesis was that early recoil, defined as lumen compromise >10%, is frequent and accounts for considerable luminal narrowing after tibial angioplasty, promoting restenosis. To test this theory, 30 consecutive CLI patients (18 men; mean age 76.2±12.1 years) were angiographically evaluated immediately after tibial balloon angioplasty and 15 minutes later. Half the patients were diabetics. Target lesions included anterior and posterior tibial arteries and the peroneal artery with / without the tibioperoneal trunk. Mean tibial lesion length was 83.8 mm. Early elastic recoil was determined on the basis of minimal lumen diameter (MLD) measurements at baseline (MLDbaseline), immediately after tibial balloon angioplasty (MLDpostdilation), and 15 minutes thereafter (MLD15min).Elastic recoil was observed in 29 (97%) patients with a mean luminal compromise of 29% according to MLD measurements (MLDbaseline 0.23 mm, MLD postdilation 2.0 mm, and MLD15min 1.47 mm).Early recoil is frequently observed in CLI patients undergoing tibial angioplasty and may significantly contribute to restenosis. These findings support the role of dedicated mechanical scaffolding approaches for the prevention of restenosis in tibial arteries.