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Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) (cont.)

What are the complications of percutaneous coronary intervention?

Although over 95% of percutaneous coronary intervention procedures are successful, there are a few patients that still have problems. For example, sometimes the catheter (or its guide wire) cannot get through the narrowed lumen, or a thrombus (blood clot) forms at the site if the inner lining of the artery tears at the balloon site. Although agents are used to chemically prevent clot formations, not all treatments are successful. About 1%-2% of current percutaneous coronary intervention procedures fail and may require emergent CABG surgery (incidence of emergent CABG is 0.5% in high volume centers). The risk of a heart attack is about 1%-2% in people that have percutaneous coronary intervention.

Current percutaneous coronary intervention mortality is less than 1%. One large (905 patients) study reports an incidence of 6.7% patients develop a hematoma at the catheter entry site (groin or arm). Some patients may develop an aneurysm in the artery at the catheter entry site. Most patients will experience some bruising and tenderness at the catheter entry site.

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