Coronary artery perforation: How to treat it?

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Coronary artery perforation fortunately represents a rare complication of coronary catheterization but, if not properly and promptly treated, it is burdened by a high mortality rate. Rates of coronary perforation may be potentially higher when atherectomy devices are used or very complex calcified lesions are treated. Cardiac tamponade constitutes the most severe clinical consequence. We report the case of an intra-stent coronary perforation at the end of revascularization of a non-ST elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI), followed by an immediate impairment of hemodynamic compensation, due to significant pericardial effusion and subsequent cardiac tamponade. The use of covered stents has revolutionized the management of coronary perforation and this has meant that the use of emergency CABG has decreased over the years with satisfactory immediate and short-term outcomes, reducing the incidence of acute cardiac tamponade and mortality without surgery.




Piraino, D., Dendramis, G., Buccheri, D., Paleologo, C., Teresi, G., Rotolo, A., … Assennato, P. (2015). Coronary artery perforation: How to treat it? Cor et Vasa, 57(5), e334–e340.

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