The field of interventional cardiology is growing widely. This growth is the result of improvements in existing technology, development of new technology, and expansion of criteria for the selection of patients. Percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) remains the mainstay and is used to treat an increasing number of patients with coronary artery disease that manifests as stable or unstable angina or acute myocardial infarction. Atherectomy is being used to “debulk” lesions and remove atheromatous plaque as well as to remove intimal flaps after PTCA. The insertion of an intracoronary stent is a strategy designed to treat intimal dissections and acute closure as well as to attempt to decrease the incidence of restenosis. Finally, intracoronary laser therapy—independently or in combination with PTCA—is being evaluated as a treatment approach for more diffuse disease, acute occlusion, and prevention of restenosis.
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