In clinical trials, the use of a distal embolic protection device (EPD) during saphenous vein graft (SVG) percutaneous intervention (PCI) decreases the incidence of major adverse events. However, the frequency of EPD use during SVG PCI in clinical practice is unknown. We evaluated 19,546 SVG PCI procedures in the American College of Cardiology-National Cardiovascular Data Registry from January 1, 2004, through March 30, 2006. EPD use was the primary outcome. Univariate and multivariable analyses were used to assess for characteristics associated with EPD use and to determine the association between EPD use and 2 outcomes: no-reflow and in-hospital mortality. EPDs were used in 22% of patients who underwent SVG PCI. Characteristics independently associated with EPD use were age (odds ratio [OR] 1.04, p = 0.03), male gender (OR 1.12, p = 0.02), older grafts (p <0.001 for the group), longer lesions (OR 1.16, p <0.001), and American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association class C lesions (OR 1.41, p <0.001). Patients were less likely to receive an EPD if they had class <3 grade flow according to Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction classification (p <0.001) or previously treated lesions (OR 0.55, p <0.001). There was a weak correlation between annual hospital PCI volume and EPD use (r = 0.2, p <0.001). Nineteen percent of centers did not use EPDs and 41% used them in <10% of cases. EPD use was independently associated with a lower incidence of no-reflow (OR 0.68, p = 0.032), but not in-hospital mortality (1.0% vs 0.9%, p = NS). In conclusion, in current practice, EPDs are used in <25% of SVG PCI procedures.