OBJECTIVE: To determine the relationship between carotid intima-media thickness (IMT), carotid wall shear stress (WSS) and restenosis after femoro-popliteal percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA). PATIENTS AND METHODS: Thirty-one subjects (18 men, 13 women, median age 69 years) treated with femoro-popliteal PTA for symptomatic peripheral arterial occlusive disease were enrolled. On admission, IMT, internal diameter and blood velocity of the common carotid artery (CCA) were assessed by high-resolution ultrasonography. Blood viscosity was measured and carotid WSS was calculated. Patients were followed up for 6 months for the occurrence of significant restenosis (>50%) as documented by duplex ultrasonography. Two patients were lost to follow-up. RESULTS: Fourteen patients (48%) developed restenosis at 6 months. IMT and WSS were not different in patients without and with restenosis (IMT: 0.90 (0.85-0.97) vs. 0.89 (0.84-0.93) mm, p = 0.51; WSS: 14.1 (11.9-19.2) vs. 15.9 (12.8-21.5) dyne/cm2, p = 0.48). The hazard ratio of incident restenosis as estimated by Cox regression analysis was 0.04 for IMT (p = 0.23; 95% CI 0.0001-8.22) and 1.07 for WSS (p = 0.10; 95% CI 0.98-1.17). CONCLUSIONS: In this pilot study involving a limited number of patients, carotid IMT and carotid WSS are not significantly related to restenosis at 6 months after femoro-popliteal PTA. This might be the result of different underlying pathophysiology for atherosclerosis and restenosis.