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In this retrospective cohort study, we compared adverse cardiac outcomes after noncardiac surgery among patients with prior percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA), patients with nonrevascularized coronary artery disease (CAD), and normal controls. Inpatient hospital discharge abstracts from all nonfederal acute care hospitals in Washington State linked to death certificates were evaluated. Patients ≥45 yr old with prior PTCA who underwent noncardiac surgery from 1987 to 1993 were matched by age, sex, surgery type, and discharge year to 686 patients with CAD and to 2155 normal controls (no CAD). We compared risk for adverse cardiac outcomes (death, myocardial infarction, angina, congestive heart failure, malignant dysrhythmia, cardiogenic shock, coronary artery bypass graft, or PTCA) within 30 days. Patients with PTCA had twice the risk of adverse cardiac outcome as normal controls (odds ratio [OR] 1.98; P < 0.001), with a higher risk of angina (OR 7.84), congestive heart failure (OR 2.06), and myocardial infarction (OR 3.86) but a lower risk of death (OR 0.46; P < 0.001). Patients with PTCA had half the risk of adverse cardiac outcome as patients with CAD (OR 0.50; P < 0.001), including less risk of angina (OR 0.51) and congestive heart failure (OR 0.40; P < 0.001), but no difference in myocardial infarction (P = 0.304) or death (P = 0.436). No difference was found between 142 patients with recent PTCA (≤90 days before noncardiac surgery) matched to patients with CAD (OR 0.90; P = 0.396). Patients revascularized by PTCA >90 days before noncardiac surgery seem to have a lower risk of poor outcome than nonrevascularized patients, although not as low as normal controls. For recent PTCA patients, the lack of difference compared with CAD patient outcomes requires a larger sample size for verification. Present findings do not lend support to a role for prophylactic PTCA to improve noncardiac surgery outcomes. This investigation did not control for CAD severity, medical management, or comorbidities. Study of these factors is needed before the clinical implications of PTCA for noncardiac surgical risk can be completely assessed.Hospital records showed patients with prior percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty were twice as likely as healthy patients to have an adverse cardiac outcome after noncardiac surgery, although their risk was reduced by half compared with patients with untreated coronary artery disease. Further study of the role of percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty in modulating noncardiac surgery risk is needed.