Aims: In comparison with non-occlusive lesions, percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) of chronic total occlusions (CTO) represents a greater challenge for the interventionalist, due to lower procedural success rates, relatively higher incidence of procedural complications and the increased rate of restenosis. The European Registry of Chronic Total Occlusion (ERCTO) was created with the goal of evaluating the real impact of CTO PCI in the European context, trying to analyse the rates of procedural success, technical information from the CTO procedures and patient outcome.
Methods and results: Data collection was carried out in 16 centres across Europe, starting from the beginning of January 2008. In two years of activity, a total of 1,914 patients with 1,983 CTO lesions were consecutively enrolled in the registry. Overall procedural success was achieved in 1,607 lesions (82.9%); anterograde procedures obtained higher procedural success of retrograde ones (83.2% versus 64.5%, p<0.001). Coronary perforation occurred more frequently in patients who underwent retrograde approach (4.7% versus 2.1%, p=0.04). Although no differences were observed in terms of 30-day major adverse cardiac events between anterograde and retrograde treated patients, a trend toward higher periprocedural non-Q-wave myocardial infarction was found in patients in which the retrograde approach was attempted (2.1% versus 1% p=0.08). Moreover, retrograde approach was related with longer procedural and fluoroscopy times (156.9±62.5 min vs. 98.2±52.8 min and 73.3±59.9 min vs. 38.2±43.9 min respectively, p<0.001) and higher contrast load administration (402±161 cc vs. 302±184 cc, p<0.001).
Conclusions: The first report of the ERCTO registry by the EuroCTO club shows a high procedural success rate obtained by expert European operators in a "real-world" consecutive series of patients, comparable with those reported by Japanese registries. The rate of observed procedural adverse events was low and similar to the non-CTO PCI series. In this registry, retrograde procedures were associated with extended fluoroscopy exposure and procedural time, increased contrast load administration as well as a higher incidence of coronary perforations. Such outcomes should become the standard of care that all centres undertaking CTO PCI should aspire to.