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Angioplasty can be carried out for a variety of clinical indications. The most common is for the treatment of lower limb ischaemia due to arterial narrowing with atheroma. Other vessels, such as the renal, mesenteric and carotid arteries, can be treated with angioplasty. However, the role of maximal medical therapy versus surgery versus angioplasty for these conditions is a complex issue. The decision to carry out angioplasty will involve an evaluation of the patient’s clinical problem, weighing risk of the procedure versus potential benefit based on the evidence, and the patient’s preferences. It is beyond the scope of this information item to provide a detailed discussion of the evidence regarding the role of angioplasty for various conditions compared with alternative medical and surgical therapy.
Other considerations prior to referral for angioplasty include:
Preliminary imaging tests, such as ultrasound, CT angiography or diagnostic angiogram, will usually have been carried out to confirm an arterial abnormality.
There are no absolute contraindications for angioplasty and stent insertion.
Relative contraindications include:
The alternatives to angioplasty and stent insertion are either medical (drug) therapy or open surgical therapy. These are best discussed with the referring physician and radiologist.
Society for Interventional Radiology:
Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiological Society of Europe:
Page last modified on 29/3/2017.
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