The Percutaneous Transluminal Angioplasty (PTA) is a procedure that helps visualising the anatomy of the coronary arteries and the possible damages (stenosis, occlusion) produced by the deposition of fat in their walls. The PTA represents the gold standard for exploring the coronary disease and brings critical information about the treatment needed.
It is performed in the cardiac catheterization laboratory, especially designed and equipped or such a procedure.
The Percutaneous Transluminal Angioplasty (PTA) is performed under local anaesthesia. During the procedure the patient remains conscious and can communicate with the doctor. After achieving the local anaesthesia, the doctor will make a small incision in the groin or at the wrist (depending on the chosen approach; in the first case, the femoral artery, in the second, radial artery). The next step is to introduce a hollow tube (‘arterial sheath’) in the chosen artery, through which the doctor inserts, in several stages, guides and catheters (probes, thin tubes), which are advancing to the origin of the coronary arteries. Later, through these catheters, a contrast material is injected; this performs the coronary artery opacification and offers a good view of the blood flow dynamics through their X-ray exposure. The images are viewed on a screen and stored in digital format, which can be later reviewed and processed.