Morphological assessment of chronic total occlusions by combined coronary computed tomographic angiography and intravascular ultrasound imaging

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The relationship between CTO morphology and vessel remodelling is unclear. We described chronic total occlusion (CTO) morphology using coronary computed tomographic angiography (CCTA) combined with intravascular ultrasound (IVUS).

Methods and results

Pre-intervention CCTA and IVUS of 130 CTO lesions (128 patients) were evaluated. Based on CCTA, positive CTO lesion remodelling [PR, maximum CTO segment vessel diameter > proximal reference vessel diameter (RVD)] was seen in 44 (33.8%) lesions. In the other 86 lesions without PR, 74 (56.9%) had a minimum CTO segment vessel diameter >50% of the proximal RVD and were classified as non-PR; 12 (9.2%) lesions had a minimum CTO segment vessel diameter ≤50% of the proximal RVD and were classified as collapse. Comparing the three groups, CTO with PR had the greatest maximum atheroma cross-sectional area (CSA) while the collapse group had the least atheroma CSA (16.0 mm2 [12.0, 19.4] vs. 9.1 mm2 [6.0, 15.9], P < 0.001). The maximum arc of attenuated plaque was greatest in the PR group (51° [0, 167]); and the maximum arc of calcium was greatest in the non-PR group (91° [51, 174]). In the collapse group distal to the occluded segment, there was a normal-appearing vessel by IVUS that corresponded to the collapsed segment by CCTA; its minimum plaque burden was 33.2% [19.9, 38.1] with a smooth concave-shaped lumen surface, implying that the CCTA collapse segment was not occluded.


Not all CTOs are the same with regard to lesion remodelling and underlying morphology. The combination of IVUS and CCTA can help to categorize CTO morphology.

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