Timely primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) is the preferred therapy for ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI).Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) is a widely-applied invasive procedure meant to treat obstructive lesions in epicardial coronary arteries and their major branches. After the insertion of a vascular sheath in a peripheral artery (radial, brachial, or femoral), specially shaped catheters are advanced to the ostia of coronary arteries and coronary angiography is performed using radio opaque contrast material. After the obstructive lesions have been identified and characterized, adequate anticoagulation is provided and PCI starts.
PCI is performed in more than one million patients yearly in the United States alone and in approximately two million people world-wide. Nearly two thirds of these patients present with an acute coronary syndrome (ACS), encompassing clinical presentations as diverse as unstable angina, non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI) and ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). The other third are elective patients with stable coronary artery disease (CAD), abnormal stress tests, or symptoms that are unacceptable despite intensive medical therapy.