OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to compare the failure rates of crossing side branch (SB) with pressure guidewire vs. coronary guidewire after main vessel (MV) stenting in coronary bifurcation lesions (CBL). BACKGROUND: Percutaneous coronary intervention of CBL is technically difficult. The European Bifurcation Club recommends performing either fractional flow reserve (FFR) estimation of the SB or final kissing balloon inflation (FKBI) after the MV stenting when a significant SB ostial stenosis is present. Even though FFR is recommended in CBL, there is concern about SB crossing with pressure guidewire among interventionists. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We undertook a comprehensive literature search to identify all relevant studies reporting the failure rates of SB crossing after MV stenting with either pressure or coronary guidewire. A random effects model was used to compare the failure rates between the two approaches. RESULTS: Our search identified six studies that reported failure rates of SB crossing with a pressure guidewire (n = 648) and 11 studies that reported failure rates of SB crossing with a coronary guide-wire (n = 2601). Estimated pooled failure rate was 3·9% (95% CI: 1·5% to 9·6%) for inability to cross SB with pressure guidewire. Estimated pooled failure rate of SB crossing with coronary guidewire was 3·1% (95% CI: 1·5% to 6·2%). There was no significant difference between the failure rates in the two groups (P = 0·70). CONCLUSION: The failure rates of SB crossing after MV stenting are low with both pressure and coronary guidewire procedures, with no significant difference between the two approaches.