Angioplasty (PCI) incidence of bleeding

Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), commonly known as angioplasty, is a procedure used to treat patients with diseased (narrowed or blocked) arteries in the heart. Arteries in the heart are also known as the coronary arteries. PCI is performed to widen the diseased coronary arteries to allow blood to flow more freely through the heart alleviating chest pain (angina) and/or minimizing heart muscle damage during an acute heart attack. PCI is also referred to as percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA).

During angioplasty, a small tube (catheter) with a balloon at the tip is inserted into the narrowed coronary artery. The balloon is slowly inflated to open up the artery. At this time, a small metal coil (stent) may be inserted to keep the narrow artery open. Possible outcomes following a PCI are bleeding complications. The most frequent bleeding complications occur at the access or entry site of the catheter.

The incidence of bleeding can depend on a patient’s history of pre-existing illnesses (including peripheral vascular disease), procedures, and surgeries as well as a physician’s surgical technique. Bleeding complications may require additional treatment, increase hospital length of stay, and equate to higher health care costs. Better overall health and a doctor’s proficiency in performing PCI may decrease the risk of developing a bleed during or after an intervention.

About this measure

This measure shows the percentage of patients who experienced a bleed following PCI in 2012. Note: In this case, a lower number is better.


Most Recent Available Data (Number)
Northwestern Memorial 4.46
National Database Participant Comparison 3.92
Source:American College of Cardiology
Percutaneous Coronary Artery Intervention Vascular Complications