Percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty was attempted without streptokinase in 24 patients with total coronary artery occlusion but without acute transmural myocardial infarction. The maximal duration of occlusion was estimated to be 1 week or less in 10 patients, more than 1 to 4 weeks in 6, more than 4 to 12 weeks in 3 and more than 12 weeks in 5. Dilation of the occluded artery was attempted in the left anterior descending coronary artery in 17 patients, in the right coronary artery in 4 and in the circumflex coronary artery in 3. Angioplasty was successful in 13 patients (54%): left anterior descending coronary artery in 59%, right coronary artery in 50% and circumflex coronary artery in 33%. In patients with successful dilation, there was a mean decrease in coronary artery stenosis from 100 to 23%. In the 19 patients whose occlusion was estimated to be of 12 weeks' duration or less, angioplasty was successful in 68%. In the five patients whose occlusion was estimated to be of more than 12 weeks' duration, dilation was not successful in any (p = 0.006). It is concluded that in selected patients with symptomatic coronary artery disease and recent coronary artery occlusion without associated acute myocardial infarction, percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty alone may be effective in restoring patency.
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