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Catheter Cardiovasc Interv. 2001 Mar;52(3):289-95.

Complications of cardiac catheterization in the current era: a single-center experience.

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Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory, Department of Medecine, Montreal Heart Institute, Montreal, Qu├ębec, Canada.


Consecutive cardiac catheterization procedures done over a 2-yr period (April 1996 to March 1998) were prospectively analyzed to determine and characterize procedure-related complications (in-hospital and 1-mo follow-up), as they occur at present. During the study period, 11,821 procedures (7,953 diagnostic and 3,868 therapeutic) were performed. The majority of procedures (> 60%) were done in high-risk patients. Stents were implanted in 33% of patients, and adjunctive abciximab was used in 6.6% of therapeutic procedures. The overall complication rate was 8% (3.6% of diagnostic procedures and 15.1% of therapeutic procedures). The procedure-related mortality rates were 0.2%, 0.1%, and 0.5% for total, diagnostic, and therapeutic procedures, respectively. Cardiac complications were seen in 3.9% (1.5% of diagnostic and 9% of therapeutic procedures). Emergency cardiac surgery was required in 0.05% of the diagnostic procedure group and 0.3% of the therapeutic procedure group (total, 0.1%). Despite marked changes in patient population and practice, the complication rates of cardiac catheterization remain very low.

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