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What are the risks associated with percutaneous coronary interventions?

Percutaneous coronary interventions (PCIs) are used in the treatment of three-vessel disease, decompensated congestive heart failure, complex coronary lesions (including bifurcation lesions) and ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI).

Bleeding is historically among the most common and dangerous complications following PCI. Bleeding risk is increased with emergency procedures (such as STEMI), in which more aggressive anticoagulation regimens are utilized. By focusing on bleeding reduction strategies, such as more selective use of potent anticoagulants, post-PCI bleeding can be reduced.

The adoption of radial artery access for diagnostic and PCI procedures is another important strategy for reducing bleeding. Several studies have demonstrated lower bleeding complications with radial PCI compared to the more traditional femoral artery access. Radial artery access also allows for immediate ambulation following the procedure, significantly contributing to improved patient comfort.

Patient outcomes following PCI are significantly improved by adherence to proven medical therapies and participation in cardiac rehabilitation.
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