Although originally percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) was used only in patients with well-preserved left ventricular function and single-vessel coronary disease, the criteria for selection of patients have enlarged as experience with the procedure has accumulated. Currently, patients with multivessel coronary disease, coronary occlusions, or myocardial infarction are also eligible to undergo PTCA. Technologic advances such as steerable guidewire systems have improved the success rates and have facilitated dilation of severe lesions even in tortuous vessels. Despite the increasing complexity of cases, the frequency of occurrence of complications (such as coronary dissection, occlusion, and infarction) has decreased while the success rates have improved substantially.
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