PROCEDURE OF THE DAY
Angioplasty is the technique of mechanically widening a narrowed or obstructed blood vessel; typically as a result of atherosclerosis.
Atherosclerosis is a syndrome affecting arterial blood vessels. It is a chronic inflammatory response in the walls of arteries, in large part due to the accumulation of macrophage white blood cells and promoted by low density (especially small particle) lipoproteins (plasma proteins that carry cholesterol and triglycerides) without adequate removal of fats and cholesterol from the macrophages by functional high density lipoproteins (HDL), (see apoA-1 Milano). It is commonly referred to as a hardening or furring of the arteries. It is caused by the formation of multiple plaques within the arteries.
Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), commonly known as coronary angioplasty is a therapeutic procedure to treat the stenotic (narrowed) coronary arteries of the heart found in coronary heart disease. These stenotic segments are due to the build up of cholesterol-laden plaques that form due to atherosclerosis. PCI is usually performed by an interventional cardiologist.
Peripheral angioplasty refers to the use of mechanical widening in opening blood vessels other than the coronary arteries. It is often called percutaneous transluminal angioplasty or PTA for short. PTA is most commonly done to treat narrowings in the leg arteries, especially the common iliac, external iliac, superficial femoral and popliteal arteries. PTA can also be done to treat narrowings in veins, etc.
Renal artery angioplasty
Atherosclerotic obstruction of the renal artery can be treated with angioplasty of the renal artery (percutaneous transluminal renal angioplasty, PTRA). Renal artery stenosis can lead to hypertension and loss of renal function.
Generally, carotid artery stenosis is treated with angioplasty and stenting for high-risk patients in many hospitals. It has changed since the FDA has approved the first carotid stent system (Cordis) in July 2004 and the second (Guidant) in August 2004. The system comprises a stent along with an embolic capture device designed to reduce or trap emboli and clot debris. Angioplasty and stenting is increasingly being used to also treat carotid stenosis, with success rates similar to carotid endarterectomy surgery. Simple angioplasty without stenting is falling out of favor in this vascular bed. SAPPHIRE, a large trial comparing carotid endarterectomy and carotid stenting with the Cordis stent found stenting non-inferior to carotid endarterectomy.