Cochrane Summaries

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Percutaneous transluminal rotational atherectomy for coronary artery disease

Wasiak J, Law J, Watson P, Spinks A
Published Online: 
12 December 2012

Atherosclerosis is the build-up of fat and other substances within blood vessels. Several methods are used to remove this build-up including a procedure known as percutaneous transluminalcoronary rotational atherectomy (PTCRA). PTCRA utilises small rotating devices to selectively remove the build-up of atherosclerotic plaques from within coronary vessels. This review sought to determine whether PTCRA leads to improved patient outcomes compared to balloon angioplasty. It was important to do this review as it is not known whether or not PTCRA provides greater benefits to patients compared to balloon angioplasty.  The review analysed data from 12 studies, which showed that there is limited evidence to support the routine use of PTCRA for in-stent re-stenosis; however, only for those people who were not suitable for surgery. For those with complex lesions, PTCRA may provide some benefit in comparison to balloon angioplasty. The review also showed that patients receiving PTCRA were more likely to have perforations during the procedure compared to patients receiving balloon angioplasty. This review was limited by the small number of studies and deficiency of data reported in some of the studies.