What are the different types of devices used to perform percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI)?

Updated: Nov 27, 2019
  • Author: George A Stouffer, III, MD; Chief Editor: Karlheinz Peter, MD, PhD  more...
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Initially, percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) was accomplished with balloon catheters. As a result of the technical challenges of percutaneous coronary artery balloon angioplasty, suboptimal clinical outcomes, and significant rates of restenosis after the procedure, two innovative types of devices were developed: atherectomy devices and coronary stents.

Long-term outcomes from atherectomy alone have been disappointing and, in most cases, little better than those from balloon angioplasty. Stents, particularly stents that elute medications that reduce inflammatory and cell growth responses, have resulted in greatly improved outcomes. Atherectomy is still used for specific niche indications, but the most common intracoronary device used today is a stent.

Various ancillary devices are also used for PCI.

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