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Current status of percutaneous coronary intervention in China
  1. Runlin Gao
  1. Correspondence to Dr Runlin Gao, Cardiovascular Institute and Fu Wai Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing, China 100037; gaorunlin{at}

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Overview of the development of percutaneous coronary intervention in China

Since the introduction of percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) into China in 1985 with a first report in 1986,1 there has been exponential growth in annual numbers of percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI, figure 1), and the expansion and technical evolution of interventional cardiology in China can be roughly divided into three phases. During the first phase, spanning 1985 to 1996, PCI could only be performed in a few centres by a few cardiologists. According to a national survey organised by the Chinese Society of Cardiology,2–4 a total of only 6213 PCI cases had been performed by the end of 1996 in 51 hospitals nationwide with a success rate of 91.9%.2 The most common procedure was balloon angioplasty, while rotational atherectomy cases numbered only in the hundreds and rare cases of directional coronary atherectomy and excimer laser angioplasty were performed in a few centres. Also during this first phase, coronary stenting was introduced in 1992 and first reported in 19945; by 1996, coronary stents had been implanted in 51.3% of patients undergoing PCI in China.2 The second phase from 1997 to 2001 witnessed a rapid growth of PCI in China with a 40% yearly increment in the number of cases. For instance, in 2001, 16 345 PCI cases were performed in 112 hospitals with a success rate of 97%4; this number of cases was larger than the combined figures for the previous 15 years. During this time, stents were implanted in more than 80% of PCI patients, while there were only 115 cases of intracoronary brachytherapy for the treatment of in-stent restenosis from its introduction in 19996 to the end of 2001.4 During the third phase, from 2002 until now, case numbers continued to increase. In 2007, a total of 144 673 cases were …

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; not externally peer reviewed.