What is an atherectomy device, and what types of lesions might it be useful for?
Atherectomy devices are endovascular tools that cut or ablate atherosclerotic plaque away from the wall of the diseased artery in an effort to expand the flow lumen. There are currently four types of atherectomy devices: directional, rotational, orbital, and laser. There is currently little evidence to support widespread use of the technique, and no benefit over angioplasty and stenting has been definitively proven. However, atherectomy is being used in clinical practice, and continued evaluation is ongoing. Theoretically, the technique may facilitate treatment of long segment and heavily calcified lesions as well as eccentric atherosclerotic plaque at risk for embolization during intervention.