Reduction in angioplasty complications after the introduction of coronary stents: Results from a consecutive series of 2242 patients
The introduction of coronary stents for the treatment of acute vessel closure has probably improved the safety of angioplasty, but little data are available regarding angioplasty complication rates when bailout stenting is available. Therefore baseline and patient outcome data for 2242 consecutive patients treated at a single tertiary referral center were compared before and after bailout coronary stenting was introduced. Patients treated after stents became available were more likely to have diabetes (16% prestent availability vs 19% poststent, p < 0.05), unstable angina (61% prestent vs 70% poststent, p < 0.01), and to have received intravenous nitroglycerin before the procedure (22% prestent vs 28% poststent, p < 0.01). Major complications occurred in 4.1% of patients before stent availability and 2.0% afterwards (p < 0.01). These complications included in-hospital death (1.1% prestent vs 0.7% poststent, p = not significant [NS]), Q wave myocardial infarction (0.5% prestent vs 0.3% poststent, p = NS), and emergency bypass surgery (2.9% prestent vs 1.1% poststent, p < 0.01). The introduction of coronary stents was associated with a > 50% reduction in major complications despite greater patient acuity. The traditionally reported complication rates for angioplasty appear not to apply when ballout stenting is available.