The Advancements in Percutaneous Coronary Intervention Treatments

November 12, 2012

The Advancements in Percutaneous Coronary Intervention Treatments

The usages of percutaneous coronary intervention, or PCI, has gone up quite significantly since 1977. In fact, it is known to be a very common medical intervention nowadays.

What Can PCI Treat?

The percutaneous coronary intervention originally came about in Switzerland. Andreas Gruentzig initially came up with it to treat patients with discrete lesions and stable angina, but it now has multiple uses in treatment. It can be used to treat unstable angina, coronary artery disease and myocardial infarction, for example. When matched with professional operators, and today’s drug therapy and top-notch equipment, PCI can also be considered as a very effective solution to treat patients who have coronary artery disease – and without having to bring surgery into the picture, either.

How Does PCI Treat Its Patients?

Thanks to recent advancements made in stents, devices and guidewires that can cross arteries, more and more patients who have chronic total occlusions are successfully being treated with percutaneous coronary intervention. On that note, the improvements made in catheter techniques and the overall development of brand new devices, stents, wires, medications and drug-eluting stents have also occurred along with the advancements made in cardiovascular physiology, the body’s reactions to vascular injuries and the pathogenesis of heart disease. Atherectomy devices and intracoronary stenos have also been developed to increase the overall success rate of traditional balloon dilation and decrease its risks at the same time. These devices have helped interventionists treat restenosis and more complicated coronary lesions, as well. Stents have also evolved to a whole new level wherein restenosis no longer comes with frequent bare metal stents after implanting drug-eluting ones. On that note, advancements made in fractional flow reserve evaluation and intravascular ultrasonography have helped people understand heart plaque morphology, vulnerability, and physiology more.

Additionally, these technologies can all help figure out which patients would benefit from percutaneous coronary intervention the most. New pharmacologic therapies that aim to prevent acute reocclusion altogether have improved the efficacy and safety of heart angioplasty, as well.

Yes, the popularity of percutaneous coronary intervention has grown immensely. Since 1994, intracoronary stents have been used more and more and today, drug-eluting stents are being used in most PCI cases all over the U.S. Other PCI innovations made within the last two decades have also been paralleled by a huge reduction in myocardial infection, target-vessel revascularization and 30-day death rates. Overall, it really looks like PCI will be maintained for years to come, especially since brand new technologies keep popping up to improve its results overall.

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