If you fail to plan you are planning to fail. Benjamin Franklin.

Planning is essential for every procedure, including percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). Thoughtful planning and appropriate preparation before performing PCI improves the safety, efficiency, outcome, and cost of the procedure.

The following items should be checked, that correspond to each of the 14 steps of the procedure. While planning is in itself the first of the 14 steps, it also serves as a preview of what will occur during each of the subsequent steps ( Table 1.1 ).

Table 1.1

Preprocedure checklist for cardiac catheterization and PCI.


Consent obtained

  • Consent needs to be obtained and documented prior to the procedure. Discussion about the risks and benefits of ad hoc PCI is critical, in patients without a prior angiogram.

History :

  • Clinical presentation (stable angina, acute coronary syndromes (ACS), other).

  • If stable coronary artery disease, is indication for procedure appropriate? (Review appropriate use criteria ).

  • Ongoing chest pain?

  • Prior cardiac catheterization or other procedure requiring fluoroscopy? If yes, are the prior images and reports available?

  • Prior coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG)? If yes, is surgical report available?

  • Current medications (see Section 1.3 ).

  • Comorbidities

    • Valvular heart disease

    • Congestive heart failure

    • Arrhythmias

    • Peripheral arterial disease (PAD)

    • Renal failure

    • Significant lung disease

    • Obstructive sleep apnea

    • Bleeding disorders

    • Back pain or other musculoskeletal disorders that can affect lying flat on the cardiac catheterization table

    • Diabetes mellitus

    • Advanced age

  • Is the patient likely to be noncompliant with medications or require noncardiac surgery in the upcoming 6–12 months? If yes, PCI may be best avoided to minimize the risk of stent thrombosis (due to the surgery and the early discontinuation of dual antiplatelet therapy). Medical therapy only or CABG may be preferred.

  • In patients with renal failure or those who are anticoagulated, it may be best to stage non-emergent PCI; ultra low or zero contrast PCI, if feasible, may be beneficial in patients with advanced kidney disease.

  • Contrast or latex allergy?

Physical examination :

  • Radiation skin injury on the back ( Fig. 28.3 )? If yes, may need to postpone or modify procedure to avoid repeat radiation of the affected area.

  • Cardiovascular examination that includes all pulses in upper and lower extremities.

  • Signs of congestive heart failure (pulmonary rales, high jugular venous pressure, lower extremity edema).

Labs :

  • Hemoglobin

  • White blood cell count

  • Platelet count

  • International normalized ratio (INR)

  • Potassium level

  • Creatinine+estimated glomerular filtration rate (GFR) (limit contrast to ≤3.7× GFR for patients at increased risk for contrast nephropathy, such as patients with chronic kidney disease, Section 28.3 )

  • Pregnancy test (for women of childbearing potential).

Prior imaging :

  • Review prior coronary angiograms and PCIs.

  • Review noninvasive testing results (echocardiography, magnetic resonance imaging [MRI], stress testing).

  • In patients with recent diagnostic angiography or coronary computed tomography angiography (CTA), the target lesion(s) can be determined prior to the procedure.


  • Assess baseline ECG and heart rate.

  • Assess patient’s baseline vital signs and pulse oximetry.


Feb 4, 2021 | Posted by in CARDIOLOGY | Comments Off on Planning
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