To compare the short-term and long-term outcomes of directional coronary atherectomy in women and men. We retrospectively analyzed 291 consecutive directional atherectomy procedures performed in 61 women and 230 men at the Mayo Clinic between October 1988 and November 1992. The baseline clinical and angiographic characteristics, including extent of coronary artery disease and left ventricular ejection fraction, were compared for the male and female patients, and the short-term and long-term complications associated with atherectomy were summarized on the basis of gender. At baseline, women were older than men (67 ± 12 versus 61 ± 11 years; P = 0.001), and more women than men had class III or IV angina (90% versus 64%; P<0.001); slightly more women than men had rest pain (64% versus 52%). Overall clinical success (improvement in luminal diameter of 40% or more and no death, Q-wave myocardial infarction, or emergency coronary bypass operation) was achieved in 89% of women and 95% of men (P = 0.054). In-hospital mortality was similar in women and men (1.6% and 1.7%, respectively), but acute myocardial infarction occurred more frequently in women than in men (4.9% versus 0.4%; P = 0.03). Significant peripheral vascular complications occurred in 6.6% of women versus 0.9% of men (P = 0.02). During long-term follow-up (mean, 2.9 years), survival and freedom from recurrent angina were similar among women and men. Directional coronary atherectomy is associated with slightly lower success and a higher frequency of myocardial infarction among women than among men. The higher postprocedural rate of myocardial infarction among women may reflect their worse clinical status at time of initial assessment. Despite these observations, women and men seem to have comparable survival and freedom from recurrence of angina during extended follow-up.
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