Atrial coronary artery occlusion during elective percutaneous coronary angioplasty

Jesús Álvarez-García, Miquel Vives-Borrás, Andreu Ferrero, Dabit Arzamendi Aizpurua, Antoni Serra Peñaranda, Juan Cinca

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8 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Atrial arteries arise from the right and left circumflex coronary arteries and they may be accidentally occluded during percutaneous coronary angioplasty; however, this complication is not well known. The aim of our study was to analyze the incidence and risk factors of accidental atrial branch occlusion (ABO) during elective angioplasty. Methods and Materials: Clinical records and coronary angiography of 200 patients undergoing elective angioplasty were retrospectively analyzed. Atrial branches were identified and in each vessel we measured the luminal diameter, flow grade, and the location of atherosclerotic plaques. Patients were allocated either into the ABO group if atrial branch flow fell from TIMI grades 2-3 to 0-1 after procedure or in the non-ABO group if TIMI flow was preserved. Results: Atrial branch occlusion occurred in 43 (21.5%) patients. The atrial branch diameter was larger in non-ABO than in ABO group (1.29. mm, SD 0.33 versus 0.97. mm, SD 0.22, p= < 0.0001). Plaques at atrial branch origin were present in 93% of ABO group, only in 31.8% of non-ABO (p≤ 0.0001). Predictors of ABO were a cut-off vessel diameter of 1.00. mm (ROC 77% sensitivity and 67.5% specificity, p≤ 0.0001), the presence of atherosclerotic plaque at the ostium of atrial branch and maximal inflation pressure during stenting. Conclusions: The occurrence of ABO is frequent after elective angioplasty of right or circumflex coronary arteries in an experienced interventional center. Risk factors were the diameter and the presence of ostial plaques in the atrial branches, and the maximal inflation pressure during stenting. © 2013 The Authors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)270-274
JournalCardiovascular Revascularization Medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2013


  • Atrial coronary artery
  • Percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty
  • Side-branch occlusion
  • Stent


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