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J Invasive Cardiol. 2017 Aug;29(8):264-270. Epub 2017 May 15.

The Impact of Proximal Vessel Tortuosity on the Outcomes of Chronic Total Occlusion Percutaneous Coronary Intervention: Insights From a Contemporary Multicenter Registry.

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Minneapolis Heart Institute, 920 E. 28th Street #300, Minneapolis, MN 55407 USA.



We examined the impact of proximal vessel tortuosity on the outcomes of chronic total occlusion (CTO) percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI).


The baseline clinical and angiographic characteristics and procedural outcomes of 1618 consecutive CTO-PCIs performed between 2012 and 2016 at 14 United States centers in 1589 patients were reviewed.


Mean patient age was 65.3 ± 10.0 years and 85% were men. Moderate/severe proximal vessel tortuosity was present in 35.7% of target lesions. Compared with non-tortuous lesions, tortuous lesions had longer length (30 mm [interquartile range, 20-50 mm] vs 28 mm [interquartile range, 16-40 mm]; P<.001), more proximal cap ambiguity (36% vs 28%; P<.01), and more frequent utilization of the retrograde approach (52% vs 37%; P<.001). Moderate/severe proximal vessel tortuosity was associated with lower technical success rates (84.1% vs 91.3%; P<.001) and procedural success rates (82.3% vs 89.9%; P<.001), but similar incidence of major cardiac adverse events (3.0% vs 2.5%; P=.59). Moderate/severe tortuosity was associated with longer procedure time and fluoroscopy time, higher air kerma radiation dose, and larger contrast volume.


In a contemporary multicenter registry, moderate/severe proximal vessel tortuosity was present in approximately one-third of target CTO lesions and was associated with more frequent use of the retrograde approach and lower success rates, but similar complication rates.

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