To determine the changes in stenotic and nonstenotic segments of a dilated coronary artery, detailed quantitative angiographic measurements were performed in 342 patients (398 lesions) immediately after angioplasty and at a predetermined follow-up time of 30, 60, 90 or 120 days after the dilation. Measurements of the stenotic segments were expressed as minimal luminal diameter, and the adjacent nonstenotic segments were expressed as interpolated reference diameter (both in millimeters). A follow-up rate of 86% was achieved. In the patients followed up at 30 and 60 days, there was no significant change in either the mean minimal luminal diameter or the mean reference diameter. However, at 90 and 120 days, there was significant deterioration in both the mean minimal luminal diameter (-0.37 and -0.42 mm, respectively) and the mean reference diameter (-0.17 and -0.26 mm, respectively), all of the changes being highly significant (p less than 0.00001). The reference diameter is involved in the dilation process and may be subject to the same restenosis process that takes place in initially stenotic segments. Percent diameter stenosis measurements, which are conventionally used to express the change in the severity of a stenosis after angioplasty, will tend to underestimate the change when there is a simultaneous reduction in the reference diameter.

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Journal of the American College of Cardiology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Beatt, K., Luijten, H. E., de Feyter, P., van den Brand, M., Reiber, J., Serruys, P., … van Es, G. A. (1988). Change in diameter of coronary artery segments adjacent to stenosis after percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty: failure of percent diameter stenosis measurement to reflect morphologic changes induced by balloon dilation. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 12(2), 315–323. Retrieved from