Coronary artery disease is a blockage or narrowing (stenosis) of the arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle, often due to a buildup of fatty plaque inside the arteries. A severe enough blockage may cause a heart attack or death.
Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) is a non-surgical procedure used to treat stenosis of the coronary arteries. After accessing the blood stream through the femoral or radial artery, the procedure uses coronary catheterization to visualise the blood vessels on X-ray imaging. After this, an interventional cardiologist can perform a coronary angioplasty, using a balloon catheter in which a deflated balloon is advanced into the obstructed artery and inflated to relieve the narrowing; certain devices such as stents can be deployed to keep the blood vessel open.
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