Why Do People Get Angina After Angioplasty

Around 10% of patients treated with angioplasty may get angina again within a year if the artery that has been treated narrows again. We now use "drug eluting stents" which leak drugs into the wall of the heart artery. These drugs reduce the chances of the artery narrowing again (restenosis). These relatively new drug eluting stents, when used with other drugs to lower cholesterol, and to reduce the risk of blood clotting, have reduced the restenosis rate to around 5%.

If angina occurs more than one year after angioplasty, it is more likely to be due to a narrowing in a different artery or at a different place in the same artery.

An exercise test is helpful and then a coronary angiogram is usually done to see precisely what the cause of the angina is. Whether the artery has narrowed in the same area or a different artery has narrowed, angioplasty can be used again.

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