The cytostatic drug, sirolimis has shown prevention in neointimal hyperplasia after stent placement. Recent studies have shown persistent inflammation seen with drug-eluting stents (DES) may result in late stent thrombosis. The aim of this study is to compare effects of bare metal stents (BMS) and sirolimis DES on the neointima and vasa vasorum in stented rabbit aortas. Stents were implanted in eight New Zealand rabbits for 9 weeks. Group I rabbits received BMS. Group II rabbits received sirolimis DES. A balloon-mounted BMS or DES was placed in the infrarenal aorta. Following euthanasia, aortas were perfused with barium sulfate and sectioned for histology. After 9 weeks the qualitative intrastent luminal diameter was fairly uniform in both the DES and the BMS. The thickness of neointima was similar in both groups. The number of vasa vasorum in the sirolimis DES increased compared with the BMS (P < 0.05). An increased number of vasa vasorum produced by the DES when compared with the BMS shows a difference in response to local vessel injury in rabbits. This result suggests that vasa vasorum may play a role in the persistent inflammation generated by sirolimis-coated stents.