Three years of experience with a mobile angiograph in a center without on-site surgical back-up
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Background: The safety of percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI) performed in centers without surgical back-up is controversial, but data from several western countries indicates that this approach can be extended to a larger number of hospitals. We assessed the safety and efficacy of performing angiography and PCI with a mobile C-arm angiograph in a center without on-site surgical back-up, and compared our data with that reported in the literature. Methods: We retrospectively analyzed 1485 coronary angiograms and 172 PCI procedures performed in our center from January 2001 to May 2003 using a mobile angiograph. Half of the patients that have undergone PCI had refractory unstable angina and one-third had acute myocardial infarction (AMI). The safety of PCI was assessed by the analysis of in-hospital complications (death, urgent need for repeated revascularization, AMI with or without ST elevation and stroke).The PCI procedures were considered effective when the post-PCI residual stenosis did not exceed 50% with distal Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction (TIMI) grade 3 flow. Results: In patients who underwent diagnostic coronary angiography there were no deaths, anaphylatic shock, acute renal failure or major ischemic complications. In patients who underwent PCI, the mortality rate was 1.1% (2 deaths), two patients (1.1%) developed acute MI with ST segment elevation, one patient (0.5%) underwent repeated PCI and three patients (1.7%) were referred for urgent by-pass surgery. Conclusions: Diagnostic and PCI procedures can be safely performed using a mobile angiograph. The efficacy and safety requirements of PCI, performed in a center without an on-site surgical back-up facility using a mobile angiograph were similar to other data reported in the literature.