A non-radioactive metallic stent is coated with a biodegradable or non-biodegradable thin coating of less than about 100 microns in thickness selected to avoid provoking any foreign body reaction. The coating contains a radioactive source of beta emitting properties for irradiation of tissue when the stent is implanted in a blood vessel treated by angioplasty, to inhibit proliferation of smooth muscle cells in response to trauma to the wall of the blood vessel from the angioplasty, and thereby prevent restenosis of the vessel. The stent coating incorporating the radioactive source constitutes a first layer atop the surface of the stent, and the coating further includes a second layer incorporating an anti-coagulant substance to inhibit early thrombus formation of the stent. The second layer is adhered to and atop the first layer. The composite layer of the coating has a thickness of less than about 100 microns. The activity level of the radioactive source is approximately one microcurie.