PCI-Angioplasty

Other Names:
Balloon Angioplasty
Percutaneous Transluminal Coronary Angioplasty (PTCA)
Coronary Artery Balloon Dilation

Angioplasty is a percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) performed by an interventional cardiologist to open a narrowed or blocked coronary artery and restore blood flow. With angioplasty, the catheter that is used has a small balloon on its tip, and the balloon is inflated in the artery at the blockage site to push against and flatten the plaque or blockage against the artery wall. The balloon is then deflated and removed from the blockage site, leaving a widened blood vessel with increased blood flow to the heart muscle.

Angioplasty can also be used to open neck and brain arteries to help prevent stroke. The results of angioplasty include:

• Greatly increased blood flow through the blocked artery
• Decreased chest pain (angina)
• Increased ability for physical activity
• Reduced risk of a heart attack

Angioplasty is performed on more than 1 million people in the United States each year, and it is commonly performed in conjunction with stenting. Ongoing research is being conducted to make angioplasty safer and more effective, to prevent restenosis, and to make the procedure an option for more people.

Restenosis
In approximately 35% of patients who undergo angioplasty, the blockage in the treated area returns. This process, called restenosis, usually occurs within 6 months of the initial procedure.


Resources

American Heart Association www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=3009573
Medline Plus www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/angioplasty.html< National Heart Lung and Blood Institute www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/Angioplasty/Angioplasty_WhatIs.html