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Survival after percutaneous coronary intervention for chronic total occlusion

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There is limited data on prognosis after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) for coronary chronic total occlusions (CTO) in the era of drug-eluting stents (DES).


This study investigates the specific contribution of CTO recanalization to the survival benefit of complete revascularization.


Consecutive patients who underwent PCI of a CTO at our center between 01/2005 and 12/2013 were followed for a median of 2.6 years (interquartile range 1.1–3.1 years). All-cause mortality was compared between patients with successful and failed PCI of CTO without and with adjustment for pertinent co-variables by the Cox models.


The study comprised 2002 patients with attempted PCI of CTO (mean age 65.2 ± 11 years, 17 % female), 82 % had multivessel disease. The CTO PCI was successful in 1662 (83 %) patients with a DES rate of 94 %. All-cause mortality was significantly lower in patients with successful PCI of CTO compared to failed PCI of CTO (15.3 vs. 25.9 % at 4 years; P < 0.001). In the multivariable model, both successful CTO PCI and complete revascularization were strong independent predictors of reduced long-term mortality (adjusted hazard ratio (HR) 0.72; 95 % confidence interval (CI) 0.53–0.97; P = 0.03 and adjusted HR 0.59; 95 % CI 0.42–0.82; P = 0.002). Also within the subset of incomplete revascularization, successful PCI of CTO was associated with reduced mortality (adjusted HR: 0.67; 95 % CI: 0.50–0.92; P = 0.012).


Successful CTO recanalization is an independent predictor for improved long-term survival. Persistent CTO lesions are associated with significantly worse survival than persistent non-occlusive coronary lesions.

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Correspondence to Aurel Toma.

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Toma, A., Gick, M., Minners, J. et al. Survival after percutaneous coronary intervention for chronic total occlusion. Clin Res Cardiol 105, 921–929 (2016).

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