Distal embolization (DE) can be either spontaneous or iatrogenic, occurring during percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI).
The nature, composition and biochemical properties of embolized material differ according to the setting in which DE occurs: acute
coronary syndromes (ACS) or stable coronary artery disease (CAD). DE occurrence is related to increased cardiac biomarkers, negative
left ventricular remodeling and associated with a poor prognosis. Prevention and treatment of DE represent some of the most debated topics
in interventional cardiology. This review paper is focused on mechanisms of DE and on the strategies for its prevention and treatment
in both ACS and stable CAD.
Keywords: Distal embolization, microvascular obstruction, thrombus aspiration, protection devices, antiplatelet agents.
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