Current perspectives on coronary chronic total occlusions: the Canadian Multicenter Chronic Total Occlusions Registry

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2012 Mar 13;59(11):991-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2011.12.007.


Objectives: The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence, clinical characteristics, and management of coronary chronic total occlusions (CTOs) in current practice.

Background: There is little evidence in contemporary literature concerning the prevalence, clinical characteristics, and treatment decisions regarding patients who have coronary CTOs identified during coronary angiography.

Methods: Consecutive patients undergoing nonurgent coronary angiography with CTO were prospectively identified at 3 Canadian sites from April 2008 to July 2009. Patients with previous coronary artery bypass graft surgery or presenting with acute ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction were excluded. Detailed baseline clinical, angiographic, electrocardiographic, and revascularization data were collected.

Results: Chronic total occlusions were identified in 1,697 (18.4%) patients with significant coronary artery disease (>50% stenosis in ≥1 coronary artery) who were undergoing nonemergent angiography. Previous history of myocardial infarction was documented in 40% of study patients, with electrocardiographic evidence of Q waves corresponding to the CTO artery territory in only 26% of cases. Left ventricular function was normal in >50% of patients with CTO. Half the CTOs were located in the right coronary artery. Almost half the patients with CTO were treated medically, and 25% underwent coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CTO bypassed in 88%). Percutaneous coronary intervention was done in 30% of patients, although CTO lesions were attempted in only 10% (with 70% success rate).

Conclusions: Chronic total occlusions are common in contemporary catheterization laboratory practice. Prospective studies are needed to ascertain the benefits of treatment strategies of these complex patients.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Canada / epidemiology
  • Coronary Angiography
  • Coronary Occlusion / epidemiology*
  • Coronary Occlusion / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Registries*