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Triage of patients for short term observation after elective coronary angioplasty


OBJECTIVE To evaluate triage of patients for short term observation after elective percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA), as appropriate selection of patients for short term observation after angioplasty may facilitate early discharge.

METHODS 1015 consecutive patients scheduled for elective PTCA were prospectively included for short term observation. Patients with unstable angina Braunwald class III were excluded. There were no angiographic exclusion criteria. Patients were discharged from the interventional centre when considered stable during 4 hours of observation after PTCA. It was left to the operator's discretion whether to prolong the observation period. Procedural complications were defined as death, coronary bypass surgery, early repeat PTCA, and myocardial infarction.

OUTCOME MEASURES The need for prolonged observation (> 4 hours) and the occurrence of complications. Predictors for prolonged observation and the occurrence of complications after the 4 hours observation were assessed by univariate and multivariate analysis.

RESULTS Two patients died, including one of six patients who underwent emergency bypass surgery. In all, 922 patients (90.8%) were triaged to short term observation and had an uncomplicated three day follow up. Observation was prolonged in 87 patients (8.6%), and 40 patients had a complicated course. Independent predictors of procedural complications were acute closure (odds ratio (OR) 9.7; 95% confidence interval 4.4 to 21.4), side branch occlusion (OR 8.9; 3.4 to 23.7), no angiographic success (OR 5.1; 2.4 to 11.0), female sex (OR 3.1, 1.7 to 5.7), any unplanned stent (OR 2.8, 1.4 to 5.9), and ostial lesion (OR 2.2, 1.0 to 4.7).

CONCLUSIONS A 4 hour observation period is safe after elective coronary angioplasty. As procedural variables are the strongest predictors of postprocedural complications, the immediate procedural results allow effective triage of patients for short term or prolonged observation in order to anticipate complications.

  • angioplasty
  • triage
  • interventional cardiology

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