Atherectomy and Specialty Balloons in Percutaneous Coronary Intervention

  • David W. AllenEmail author
  • Prashant Kaul
Coronary Artery Disease (D Feldman and V Voudris, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Coronary Artery Disease


Purpose of review

Interventional cardiologists are increasingly being called upon to perform complex revascularization in patients who are deemed not to be candidates for surgical revascularization and, until recently, many of these patients would have only been offered medical management. Further, changing demographics have resulted in an increasingly elderly and frail population with diabetes and chronic kidney disease being referred for revascularization. Owing to the increasing prevalence of coronary artery calcification and the importance of achieving complete revascularization, advanced tools and techniques are required to safely revascularize this patient population.

Recent findings

Coronary artery calcification is a marker for increased periprocedural complications and worse long-term outcomes in percutaneous intervention. Its presence may mandate advanced revascularization strategies to facilitate safe revascularization. Several studies have highlighted the importance of intracoronary imaging and there have been iterative changes and new devices that have been developed that can facilitate revascularization in the setting of significant coronary artery calcification.


Successful coronary revascularization is increasingly dependent on the rational use of intraavascular imaging, specialized balloons and atherectomy to overcome complex coronary artery disease and calcification. A rational strategy for the safe use of advanced techniques and tools is presented here.


Coronary artery calcification Intravascular imaging Atherectomy 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

David W. Allen declares no potential conflicts of interest. Prashant Kaul reports personal fees from Cardiovascular Systems, Inc. and Boston Scientific.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medicine, Section of Cardiology Max Rady College of MedicineUniversity of ManitobaManitobaCanada
  2. 2.Cardiac Catheterization LaboratoryPiedmont Heart InstituteAtlantaUSA

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