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Official Journal of the Italian Society of Angiology and Vascular Pathology
Indexed/Abstracted in: EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 0,752
Online ISSN 1827-1618
Rubboli A., Brancaleoni R., Euler E., Casella G., La Vecchia L., Fontanelli A., Sangiorgio P., Bracchetti D.
Background. Since an inverse relationship between percutaneous coronary angioplasty (PTCA) case-load and in-hospital major adverse cardiac events (MACE) exists, we intended to evaluate the performance of low-volume PTCA operators, during the first year of our interventional program, by applying the more accurate index represented by the MACE rate within the first month.
Methods. The data relative to both the PTCA procedure and the control visit 3-4 weeks later, were retrospectively reviewed. Death, myocardial infarction and need for revascularization were the end-points evaluated, both globally and with respect to the individual operators.
Results. During 1999, 61 consecutive patients (53M, 8F; mean age: 59.9±10.4 years) were treated by two full-trained operators. Stable angina was the indication in 75% of cases. Comorbidities as diabetes and prior revascularization, were present in 16 and 5% of cases, respectively. Multivessel procedures were performed in 33% of cases, with a total number of lesions of 84 (77% A/B1 type). Stents were implanted in 70% of cases, as a bail-out in 12%. Procedural success rate was 93%. Overall one-month MACE rate was 3.3%, accounted for by 1 in-hospital emergency coronary surgery occurred to operator 1 (3.6% one-month MACE rate) and 1 elective coronary operation performed in a stable patient previously treated by operator 2 (3% one-month MACE rate).
Conclusions. PTCA performed in a low-volume center by low-volume operators is not necessarily associated with a poor outcome, provided that adequate selection of low-risk cases is accomplished. Although only 52% of the Italian centers met in 1999 the recommended volume standards, reaching optimal case-load should anyway be pursued. Some time should however be conceded, provided that close monitoring of one-month MACE rate shows adequate performance of both the institution and the operators.