Coronary artery perforations in the contemporary interventional era

J Interv Cardiol. 2009 Aug;22(4):350-3. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-8183.2009.00469.x.


Background: Coronary perforations represent a serious complication of percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI).

Methods: We performed a retrospective analysis of documented coronary perforations at Massachusetts General Hospital from 2000 to 2008. Medical records review and detailed angiographic analysis were performed in all patients.

Results: Sixty-eight cases of coronary perforation were identified from a total of 14,281 PCIs from March 2000 to March 2008 representing an overall incidence of 0.48%. The study cohort was predominantly male (61.8%), mean age 71+/-11 years with 78% representing acute cases (unstable angina: 36.8%, NSTEMI: 30.9%, STEMI: 10.3%). Coronary artery perforation occurred as a complication of wire manipulation in 45 patients (66.2%) with 88.9% of this group being hydrophilic wires, of coronary stenting in 11 (16.2%), of angioplasty alone in 6 (8.8%), and of rotational atherectomy in 8 (11.8%). The perforation was sealed with an angioplasty balloon alone in 16 patients (23.5%), and with stents in 14 patients (20.6%) (covered stents: 11.8% and noncovered stents: 8.8%). Emergency CABG was performed in 2 patients (2.9%). Five patients (7.4%) developed periprocedural MI. The in-hospital mortality rate was 5.9% in the study cohort.

Conclusion: Coronary artery perforation as a complication of PCI is still rare as demonstrated in our series with an incidence of 0.48%. The predominant cause of coronary perforations in the current era of PCI is wire injury.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Angioplasty, Balloon, Coronary / adverse effects*
  • Coronary Artery Disease*
  • Coronary Vessels / injuries*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Iatrogenic Disease
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / etiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Time Factors