Pulmonary embolism is a condition that affects over one million individuals each year in Europe and leads to mortality in almost a third of those afflicted. This condition is caused by the accumulation of dislodged bodies in the lungs. These usually originate from blood clots or thrombi from a deep vein in the leg.
Percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA) balloon catheters can be used in two ways for the treatment of peripheral vascular lesions. One way is to expand the lumen of an obstructed blood vessel; this method is informally referred to as “plain old balloon angioplasty” (POBA). During POBA, the balloon catheter is inserted into the narrowed vascular region and expanded with water pressure to press the fatty deposits against the vessel walls.
Atherectomy is a procedure used for removing plaque deposits from arteries. They have traditionally been more effective in peripheral than coronary applications. The success of atherectomies has been driven by the limited performance of existing treatments. Often, a blockage is alleviated above the knee, only to have the blood flow deteriorate due to further bottlenecks below the knee. Failure to resolve these vascular limitations can result in critical limb ischemia, ulceration, limb pain or eventual amputation if left untreated.