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Catheter Cardiovasc Interv. 2018 Sep 1;92(3):511-514. doi: 10.1002/ccd.27674. Epub 2018 Jul 18.

Broken arrow: Successful retrieval of a dislodged coronary orbital atherectomy microtip.

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Department of Medicine, Section of Cardiology, University of Chicago Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois.


A 68-year-old female with a history of coronary artery disease and prior bypass surgery presented for staged percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) to a calcified and angulated ostial left circumflex (LCX) artery lesion after PCI of the anastomosis of the left internal mammary artery - to left anterior descending artery. Orbital atherectomy of the LCX was performed at a speed of 80,000 RPM with multiple passes, and was complicated by device microtip dislodgement and entrapment within the vessel. After advancing a "buddy" wire beyond the microtip, a tapered microcatheter was advanced over the ViperWire and into the edge of the broken microtip and torqued into the microtip with forward pressure using the 0.014 in ViperWire tip as a "backstop." The guidewire, microcatheter, and microtip were then successfully removed as a unit and the intervention with stent placement was completed over the "buddy" wire. Scanning electron microscopy of the shaft revealed evidence of cyclic fatigue, indicating that the fracture occurred while spinning. The fracture when performing atherectomy in a model coronary artery with a radius of approximately 6 mm. This represents a first case of microtip dislodgement and entrapment during the use of a coronary orbital atherctomy device.short.


calcified plaques; coronary atherectomy; stable angina


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