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Tex Heart Inst J. 1988;15(3):152-4.

Contraindications for percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty in treatment of unstable angina pectoris.

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Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery and the Surgical Research Laboratories, The Mercy Hospital of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.


In recent years, the indications for percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty have expanded to include multivessel disease, unstable angina pectoris, stenosis of coronary bypass grafts, and recent total coronary occlusion. To evaluate our experience in using percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty to treat unstable angina, we reviewed the records of the patients who underwent this procedure at our hospital between January 1983 and December 1986. Of the 689 patients who underwent balloon angioplasty during the study period, 454 had stable angina and 235 had unstable angina; of the latter group, 34 (14.5%) required emergency coronary artery bypass grafting after balloon angioplasty failed. This outcome was associated with 2 risk factors: previous myocardial infarction and triple-vessel disease. Our data suggest that, in cases of unstable angina pectoris, percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty should be reserved for patients with single-vessel disease and no evidence of previous myocardial infarction. They also lend credence to the conclusion that the disease process in unstable angina is different from that in stable angina, and that therapy should be directed towards reducing platelet aggregation and correcting global ischemia, rather than towards balloon angioplasty of "culprit lesions."


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