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Dtsch Arztebl Int. 2013 Feb;110(5):72-81; quiz 82. doi: 10.3238/arztebl.2013.0072. Epub 2013 Feb 1.

Postoperative care and follow-up after coronary stenting.

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  • 1Department of Cardiology, Pneumology and Angiology, Düsseldorf University Hospital, Heinrich-Heine-Universität.



The diagnosis and treatment of coronary heart disease have improved in recent years. Most patients can return to their everyday routine a few days after a successful percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). How should patients be followed up after the successful implantation of a coronary stent?


Selective review of the pertinent literature, including current practice guidelines and recommendations.


After a PCI, the patient should be followed up both by the primary care physician and by the cardiologist one week after the procedure, and then every three to six months for the first year. Clinical history taking and physical examination, including an assessment of cardiovascular risk factors and of potential evidence of myocardial ischemia, constitute the best way to detect possible progression of coronary heart disease. Diagnostic coronary angiography is not routinely indicated after coronary stent implantation. If progression of heart disease is suspected, a stress test should be performed; patients who develop symptoms or show evidence of ischemia in a stress test should undergo diagnostic cardiac catheterization.


Repeated history taking and physical examination play an important role after PCI. For patients at high risk of restenosis and those with complex coronary morphology, coronary angiography may be indicated regardless of the findings of non-invasive stress tests.

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