Medical Definition of Brachytherapy, coronary artery

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Brachytherapy, coronary artery: Local radiation treatment within an artery to the heart. Coronary artery brachytherapy has been used to reduce the recurrence of blockage (obstruction) of a coronary artery after successful treatment of a blockage of a stent. A stent is a tubular structure that is implanted inside of a coronary artery to keep it open, thereby preventing a heart attack.

The radiation from coronary artery brachytherapy is believed to prevent cells from reproducing to cause blockage of the blood vessel (coronary artery).

Recurrent blockage after placement of a coronary artery stent has been reported to occur in 20 to 30 percent of patients.

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Last Editorial Review: 1/24/2017

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