Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI), also known as coronary angioplasty or stenting, is a common medical procedure used to treat coronary artery disease.
It involves the placement of a thin catheter, into a blocked or narrowed coronary artery to restore blood flow to the heart muscle.
During a PCI procedure, a small balloon at the tip of the catheter is inflated to widen the blocked or narrowed artery, allowing for improved blood flow.
In some cases, a small metal mesh tube stent is inserted into the artery to keep it open after the balloon is deflated and removed.
The stent acts as a scaffold, providing structural support and preventing the artery from re-narrowing.
PCI is typically performed in a specialized cardiac catheterization laboratory by an interventional cardiologist.
It is a minimally invasive procedure compared to open-heart surgery and typically requires a shorter hospital stay and recovery period.
PCI is commonly used to relieve symptoms of chest pain improve quality of life, and reduce the risk of heart attack in patients with significant coronary artery disease.
Early reperfusion of a culprit vessel with primary percutaneous coronary intervention in patients with ST segment elevation, myocardial infarction, and an early invasive strategy in patients with non-STEMI improves cardiovascular outcomes, regardless of chronological age.
In patients with multivessel coronary artery disease, randomized trials have shown that additional PCI of non-culprit lesions with the goal of complete revascularization is superior to PCI of only the culprit lesion.
Complete revascularization shows evidence for improved reduction in the risk of cardiovascular death or new myocardial infarction and improvements in quality of life.