Endoluminal treatment of superficial femoral artery lesions is a matter of controversy. The present study was designed to investigate the impact of nitinol stenting of superficial femoral artery lesions with a maximum length of 10 cm on restenosis and clinical outcomes at 1 year. Two hundred forty-four patients (168 men; 66+/-9 years) with a single superficial femoral artery lesion and chronic limb ischemia were randomized to implantation of a single Bard Luminexx 3 stent (123 patients) or stand-alone percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA) (121 patients). Mean lesion length was 45 mm. Technical success (residual stenosis <50% for PTA, <30% for stenting) was achieved in 96 patients assigned to PTA (79%) and 117 patients assigned to stenting (95%); 13 PTA group patients (11%) "crossed over" to stenting. At 1 year, the primary end point of ultrasound-assessed binary restenosis was reached in 39 of 101 PTA group patients (38.6%) and 32 of 101 stent group patients (31.7%; absolute treatment difference, -6.9%; 95% CI, -19.7% to 6.2%; P=0.377). Target lesion revascularization rates at 1 year were 18.3% and 14.9%, respectively (absolute treatment difference, -3.3%; 95% CI, -13.0% to 6.4%; P=0.595). No statistically significant difference between treatment groups was observed at 12 months in the improvement by at least 1 Rutherford category of peripheral arterial disease. In the present study of patients with short superficial femoral artery lesions, the hypothesized absolute difference of 20% in binary restenosis at 1 year between the implantation of a single Luminexx nitinol stent and stand-alone PTA could not be demonstrated. A smaller difference requiring a larger trial might have been missed.