, Volume 13, Issue 5, pp 432-438
Date: 13 Jul 2011

Percutaneous Coronary Interventions in Facilities Without Cardiac Surgery on Site

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Abstract

Prior to the widespread adoption of intracoronary stent implantation, potential complications of percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) necessitated the presence of backup cardiac surgery. However, as stent implantation has become the predominant form of PCI, the incidence of emergent cardiac surgery has declined exponentially. Despite this, current guidelines recommend against the performance of elective PCI at hospitals without on-site cardiac surgery and recommend that primary PCI for ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) might be considered at hospitals without backup cardiac surgery. These recommendations are based predominantly on two principles: (1) hospital volume for PCI is strongly associated with clinical outcomes, and (2) results from a large registry study, in which the authors reported a substantial increase in mortality among patients undergoing non-primary/rescue PCI at hospitals without backup cardiac surgery. Since that time, evidence from multiple studies has suggested that performance of PCI at hospitals without backup cardiac surgery is feasible, safe, and both clinically and cost effective. Among STEMI patients, in particular, performance of primary PCI at hospitals without on-site cardiac surgery reduces time to reperfusion and subsequent adverse cardiovascular events as well as likely reducing infarct size. In this review, we will examine the evidence surrounding the performance of PCI for stable and unstable coronary disease at hospitals without on-site backup cardiac surgery.