Influences of recently developed methods for coronary intervention on hemostasis in the coronary circulation are unclear. The objective of this study was to investigate changes in coagulation and platelet activation in the coronary circulation induced by percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA). We studied 35 patients with coronary heart disease who underwent elective PTCA to isolated stenotic narrowing of left coronary arteries. Seven patients received only PTCA, 12 underwent percutaneous transluminal rotational atherectomy (PTRA), and 16 underwent stent implantation. Blood samples were drawn from the coronary sinus immediately before and after as well as 4 and 24 hours after PTCA. Plasma levels of tissue factor (TF), thrombin-antithrombin III complex, plasminogen activator inhibitor (PAI)-1, tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA), beta-thromboglobulin, and platelet factor 4 were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. In all patients, TF levels in the coronary sinus blood showed significant increases 4 and 24 hours after PTCA and thrombin-antithrombin III complex levels showed significant increases 24 hours after PTCA. PAI-1 showed significant increases 24 hours after PTCA and t-PA showed significant increases 4 and 24 hours after PTCA. Changes in levels of these markers by PTCA were similar among the 3 groups. In PTRA, levels of beta-thromboglobulin and platelet factor 4, markers of platelet activation, increased immediately after the procedure and returned to baseline levels after 4 hours. PTCA induced increases in blood coagulation and fibrinolysis in the coronary circulation. PTRA caused a marked but transient activation of platelets. These changes may contribute to acute complications during the procedure.