Distal coronary hemoperfusion during percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA)-with an autoperfusion balloon or active system-facilitates prolonged balloon inflation. Prolonged inflations may tack up intimal dissections and improve the primary angioplasty result in complex lesions. Additionally, distal perfusion may reduce the likelihood of cardiogenic shock during high-risk PTCA. Autoperfusion balloons are most frequently used to treat acute or threatened closure. There currently is no prospective clinical study showing that stent implantation for this complication is more successful and more cost-effective. The blood flow rates through autoperfusion balloons may not abolish myocardial ischemia, and higher flow rates can often be achieved with pumps. Therefore, during high-risk PTCA, pumps may be preferred to prevent hemodynamic collapse. Clinical application of perfusion pumps is hampered by the risk for mechanical hemolysis during prolonged perfusion and the high velocity of the bloodstream that exits the PTCA catheter, causing distal vessel wall trauma.