Original article| Volume 77, P97-104, July 2020

Impact of treatment strategies on long-term outcome of CTO patients

Published:March 14, 2020DOI:


      • CTO-revascularization is associated with improved long-term survival over OMT.
      • Survival benefit is independent of revascularization strategy.
      • Failed CTO-PCI showed a comparable all-cause mortality compared to OMT.



      The percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) for chronic total occlusions (CTO) remains debated. Therefore the aim of this large-scale observational multi-center registry was to compare the long-term outcome of CTO patients undergoing different therapeutic approaches comparing successful CTO revascularization either by PCI or coronary artery bypass graft (CABG), failed CTO-PCI and optimal medical therapy (OMT) alone.

      Methods and results

      A total of 6630 CTO patients were enrolled from two high-volume centers to compare different treatment strategies. All procedures were performed by high-volume CTO operators in tertiary university hospital. Successful CTO-PCI was performed in 3906 patients, failed CTO-PCI in 1479 patients, 412 patients underwent CABG surgery and 833 patients were treated with OMT. During the 5-year follow-up period, 1019 (15%) patients died. Kaplan-Meier analysis unveiled a significantly improved long-term outcome for CTO patients undergoing revascularization either by PCI or by CABG compared to patients with failed CTO-PCI or OMT alone (log-rank P < 0.001). In the multivariate Cox-regression analysis successful CTO-PCI was associated with significantly improved long-term outcome compared to patients under OMT (adj. HR 0.39, 95%CI 0.33–0.45, P < 0.001) or CABG (adj. HR 0.68, 95%CI 0.53–0.86, P = 0.002) independent of clinical confounders encompassing age, BMI, diabetes, kidney function and left ventricular function.


      This study showed an improved long-term outcome for CTO revascularization compared to optimal medical therapy, independent from revascularization mode, with the highest survival rate in patients undergoing successful CTO-PCI.


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