Percutaneous coronary intervention: historical perspectives, current status, and future directions

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In the twenty-six years since Gruntzig introduced a simple balloon angioplasty technique, percutaneous coronary intervention has undergone extraordinary growth and has now surpassed bypass surgery in frequency of performance. Several critical breakthrough technologies account for this remarkable progress: intracoronary stents have increased success rates and reduced restenosis, adjunctive antiplatelet therapy has reduced periprocedural complications, and restenosis after stent placement has been effectively treated with local radiation. Most recently, drug-eluting stents coated with cell-cycle inhibitors have shown great promise for further reducing restenosis, possibly to negligible levels.

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