As I have described previously, angioplasty and stenting are two of the most common procedures performed in a Percutaneous Coronary Intervention.
While the procedure is generally safe, it does carry with it some inherent risks.
One of the most feared by both patient and physician is stroke.
Luckily, research has revealed that this is indeed a very rare occurrence
In recently published data, researchers examined all patients undergoing PCI from January 1, 2004, to March 30, 2007 who registered in the National Cardiovascular Data Registry, 706,782 patients. Of these patients, stoke only occurred in 1540 patients or 0.22%. Of those who developed stroke, the strongest conditions associated with it were prior cerebrovascular disease, older age, acute coronary syndromes (unstable angina, ST- and non–ST-elevation myocardial infarction), and use of an intra-aortic balloon pump.
Despite this low risk, when it did occur, the results were serious. In-hospital mortality was 30% for patients who developed a stroke compared with 1% for those without stroke.
In conclusion: Stroke remains a very rare complication of modern PCI, yet when it occurs, it is a serious event.