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J Am Coll Cardiol. 1995 Nov 15;26(6):1494-500.

Abrupt closure: the CAVEAT I experience. Coronary Angioplasty Versus Excisional Atherectomy Trial.

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Cardiovascular Diseases and Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota 55905, USA.



This study sought to assess the incidence and consequences of abrupt closure in a series of patients undergoing directional coronary atherectomy versus percutaneous coronary angioplasty.


Abrupt closure with coronary angioplasty has been associated with adverse outcome. The results from the Coronary Angioplasty Versus Excisional Atherectomy Trial (CAVEAT) I, a randomized trial of coronary angioplasty versus directional coronary atherectomy, were analyzed.


This multicenter trial enrolled 1,012 patients from 1991 to 1992. All records from patients with abrupt closure, which was coded as a discrete complication, were reviewed.


Abrupt closure occurred in 60 patients (5.9%) and was associated with a significantly longer hospital stay (median 8 vs. 3 days). Severe proximal target vessel tortuosity was more common in patients with abrupt closure (20.3% vs. 11.6%, p = 0.046), as was preexistent coronary artery thrombus (30.5% vs. 18.3%, p = 0.02). Abrupt closure was associated with a marked increase in subsequent complications (myocardial infarction 46.7% vs. 2.1%, emergency bypass surgery 38.3% vs. 0.32%, death 33% vs. 0%) and occurred more frequently in the directional coronary atherectomy group (8.0% vs. 3.8%, p = 0.005). In the coronary angioplasty group, the occlusion usually occurred at the target lesion (91%), presumably related to the effects of barotrauma. In the directional coronary atherectomy group, the site of the occlusion was the target lesion in only 58% (p = 0.045). The remaining occlusions related to problems with the technique (guide catheter or nose cone trauma), reflecting the fact that directional coronary atherectomy is a more complex procedure.


Abrupt closure remains the principal determinant of adverse outcome after percutaneous procedures for the treatment of coronary artery disease. Although abrupt closure is more common with directional atherectomy than angioplasty, the sequelae are similar.

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