Recent reports have suggested that angioplasty may cause or accelerate coronary arterial stenoses secondary to traumatic injury. Ninety-four coronary angiograms performed in a 1 yr period were reviewed in patients who had successful coronary angioplasty 6 to 30 mo (mean 10.7) prior to restudy. Restenosis was found in 43 of 140 dilated lesions (31%) and in 41 of 94 patients (44%). Thirty-three (35%) patients had new or progressive lesions outside the angioplasty site. New or progressive lesions occurred with similar frequency in the arteries that did not have angioplasty (23/155 = 15%) as in the arteries that did (13/127 = 10%; chi-square n.s.). In the arteries which underwent angioplasty, new or progressive lesions occurred as commonly proximal to the PTCA site (7/14, 50%) as distal (6/13, 46%). New or progressive lesions occurred in 29% of patients with concomitant restenosis, and 40% of those without restenosis (chi-square n.s.). No clinical, angiographic, or procedural factors distinguished patients with new and progressive lesions in target vessels from those without these lesions in target vessels. Patients with progressive lesions anywhere in the coronary tree were more likely to have had a shorter duration of anginal symptoms before angioplasty and a family history of coronary disease when compared with patients without progressive atherosclerosis. In conclusion, new and progressive lesions outside the angioplasty site occur after the procedure but appear unrelated to the restenosis process or traumatic injury by angioplasty instrumentation.