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Study Finds Mortality After PCI Often Not Due to PCI

Public reporting of percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) often uses periprocedural (30 days) mortality as a surrogate for procedural quality, though it is unclear how often death is attributable to the PCI. The cause of death among patients who died within 30 days of PCI in a national healthcare system was thus evaluated. In a study published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, researchers identified all patients who died within 30 days of PCI in the Veterans Affairs (VA) Healthcare System from October 2005 to September 2016. Researchers found a minority of deaths occurring after percutaneous revascularization were definitively due to cardiac causes, with an even smaller proportion related to the PCI. With such a small proportion of deaths directly attributable to the PCI, these data suggest that 30-day mortality may be an inappropriate metric to assess procedural quality.

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