Interventional Cardiology

Coronary artery stenosis

What is coronary artery stenosis?

Just as an engine needs petrol, the heart needs blood to do its job of pumping blood around the body. Slow build-up of fatty plaque within the artery wall can cause the artery to narrow, reducing blood flow. Sudden changes in the plaque may cause angina to worsen or may cause a heart attack. A narrowing of a coronary artery is called a coronary artery stenosis.

Where a narrowing is identified in a coronary artery during a coronary angiogram, the cardiologist may treat the lesion using a stent (fine mesh tube). This is known as Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI), which means ways of opening narrowings in coronary arteries using fine tubes called catheters introduced from the wrist or groin. Narrowings are treated with balloons and stents (fine mesh stainless steel tubes) that reduce the chance of renarrowing. PCI is also known as angioplasty or stenting.

Before and After Stenting

LCA-diseased LCA-after-stent

The first image shows a narrowing (arrow) in Left Coronary Artery (LCA) which supplies blood to the left side of the heart. The second image shows the disease area treated with a bioresorbable stent restoring the blood supply to the heart.

Find out more about Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI)