In this series, we evaluated the use of rotational ablation in stenoses that were previously refractory to balloon angioplasty. Forty-one stenoses were treated; in 26, the balloon did not adequately expand within the lesion and in 15 the balloon could not be delivered to the stenosis. Rotational ablation was technically successful in 40 of 41 (97.6%) of the lesions attempted. Twenty-four patients have been followed (mean time = 9 +/- 5 months) and the restenosis rate was similar to that of balloon angioplasty. Rotational ablation appears well suited and may be the treatment of choice for heavily calcified, severely angulated, and diffusely diseased vessels.