Coronary Angioplasty (PTCA)


Percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) also called percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) is a minimally invasive procedure to open blocked or stenosed coronary arteries allowing unobstructed blood flow to the myocardium. The blockages occur because of lipid-rich plaque within the arteries, diminishing blood flow to the myocardium. The accumulation of lipid-rich plaque in the arteries is known as atherosclerosis. When atherosclerosis affects the coronary arteries, the disorder is known as coronary artery disease.

Patients with CAD usually present with exertional chest pain, or with dyspnea with exertion. In acute myocardial infarction, there is plaque rupture with platelet aggregation, and acute thrombus formation, which results in a sudden occlusion of the coronary artery.

These patients present with acute chest heaviness, diaphoresis, and nausea. Urgent PTCA is often required to limit myocardial damage.