Background The retrograde approach through collaterals has been applied in the treatment of chronic total occlusion (CTO) lesions during percutaneous recanalization of coronary arteries. This study was to investigate the success rate of recanalization and collateral related complications in patients when using the retrograde approach.
Methods Eighty-four cases subjected to retrograde approach identified from July 2005 to July 2012 were included in this study. Patient characteristics, procedural outcomes and in-hospital clinical events were evaluated.
Results Mean age of the patient was (59.6±11.2) years old and 91.7% were men. The target CTO lesions were distributed among the left anterior descending artery in 45 cases (53.5%), left circumflex artery in one case (1.2%), right coronary artery in 34 cases (40.5%), and left main in four cases (4.8%). The overall success rate of recanalization was 79.8%. The septal collateral was three times more frequently used for retrograde access than the epicardial collateral, 68/84 (81%) vs. 16/84 (19%). Successful wire passage through the collateral channel was achieved in 58 (72.6%) patients. The success rate of recanalization was 93.1% (54/58) in patients with and 50% (13/26) in patients without successful retrograde wire passage of the collateral channel (P <0.01). Successful retrograde wire passage through the collaterals was achieved in 49 of 68 septal collaterals (72.1%) and in 9 of 16 epicardial collaterals (56.3%) (P=NS). There was no significant difference between the septal collateral group and the epicardial group in the success rate of recanalization after retrograde wire crossing the collaterals (91.8% vs. 100%, P >0.05). CART or reverse CART technique was used in 15 patients, and 14 patients (93.3%) were recanalized successfully. Collateral related perforation occurred in three (18.8%) cases with the epicardial collateral as the first choice (compared with the septal collateral group (0), P <0.01). There were 17 (20.2%) patients failure of recanalize the CTO lesions, among which 13 (15.5%) were due to the failure of retrograde wire crossing the collaterals.
Conclusions The retrograde approach is an effective technique to recanalize CTO lesions, the septal collateral was preferable. When the epicardial collateral is selected, careful manipulation of devices and wires is essential due to the potential risk of perforation of collateral channels.