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Original research article
Long-term impact of chronic total occlusion recanalisation in patients with ST-elevation myocardial infarction
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  • Published on:
    We must continue to EXPLORE the benefits of CTO PCI
    • Usaid K Allahwala, Cardiologist Department of Cardiology, Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney, Australia | The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
    • Other Contributors:
      • Michael R Ward, Cardiologist
      • Ravinay Bhindi, Cardiologist

    We read with great interest the article by Elias et al (1) regarding the longer term clinical outcomes from the EXPLORE trial. The authors are to be congratulated for conducting this important study to address the optimal management of patients presenting with a concurrent CTO in a non-infarct related artery (non-IRA) during a STEMI. The results at 1 year are similar to those in the initial 4 month outcome (2), with no difference in the primary endpoints of cardiac MRI determined LVEF or LVEDV in either CTO-PCI and CTO-No PCI groups. At a median of 3.9 years, there was no difference in long term MACE, although an apparent increase in cardiovascular mortality (6% vs 1%, p=0.02).

    Whilst this important study adds to the much needed literature on randomised studies related to PCI of CTOs, the results should be interpreted with caution. Firstly, large scale contemporaneous studies in CTO PCI have had procedural success rates in the region of 90% (3), whilst in EXPLORE (2) this rate was considerably lower, at 73% by core laboratory. This suggests either a more anatomically complex subset of patients, or else attempts by non-dedicated CTO PCI operators, both of which affect the interpretation of the intention to treat population.

    Furthermore, the mortality data should be reviewed with care. At 12 months, there were 4 cardiovascular deaths (2.7%) in the CTO PCI group, with no deaths in the CTO-No PCI groups. These rates are significantly lower compared with other t...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.
  • Published on:
    The prognostic role of collaterals should be explored.
    • Joëlle Elias, Phd fellow Academic Medical Center - University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
    • Other Contributors:
      • Ivo M van Dongen, PhD fellow
      • Jose PS Henriques, Prof

    We thank dr. Katsouras for his response to our long-term EXPLORE manuscript (1). We agree that in the ST-segment elevation (STEMI) population the presence of collaterals to the concurrent chronic total occlusion (CTO) is of prognostic relevance. We previously reported in 413 consecutive STEMI patients with a CTO that the presence of well-developed collaterals to the CTO compared to poorly developed collaterals was associated with improved outcome. We also assessed the influence of the collateral origin on survival, as collaterals coming distally from the culprit lesion are (partially) blocked during the acute phase of STEMI. In 16% of the patients the collaterals originated directly or distal from the culprit lesion and these patients had a lower survival compared to the patients in whom the collaterals were not blocked during STEMI (2).

    In the EXPLORE trial patients with well-developed collaterals to the CTO had a significantly better left ventricular (LV) function at 4 months follow-up. Nonetheless, we did not find a significant treatment effect of CTO-PCI on global LV function nor on clinical outcome in patients with poorly developed nor with well-developed collaterals (3). On a regional level we found that the recovery of segmental wall thickening of the dysfunctional CTO myocardium was better in patients with well-developed collaterals. However, no significant interaction of collateral quality on the effect of CTO PCI was found (4). In EXPLORE there were 34 p...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.
  • Published on:
    More data are needed to explore the impact of chronic total occlusion recanalisation on the prognosis of patients with ST elevation myocardial infarction.
    • Christos Katsouras, Associate Professor of Cardiology, Interventional Cardiologist University of Ioannina, University Hospital of Ioannina

    I read with great interest the paper by Elias et al regarding the mid-term and long-term clinical outcome of the Evaluating Xience and left ventricular function in Percutaneous Coronary Interventions on occlusiOns afteR ST elevation myocardial infarction (EXPLORE) trial. [1] The authors are to be congratulated for this detailed analysis evaluating the effect of chronic total occlusions – percutaneous coronary intervention (CTO-PCI) compared with CTO-No PCI on clinical outcome, left ventricular function and angina status in patients with ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) with a concurrent CTO. The message of their study is that early CTO-PCI in patients with STEMI presenting with a concurrent CTO during primary PCI should not be performed routinely.
    The authors also analysed the study population combined and found higher long-term mortality in patients who were older (>60 years) (11% vs 3%; HR 3.74; 95% CI 1.37 to 10.21; P=0.01), who had diabetes (15% vs 6%; HR 2.94; 95% CI 1.19 to 7.30; P=0.02), had a higher left ventricular enddiastolic volume at baseline (12% vs 1%; HR 13.04; 95% CI 1.70 to 100.30; P=0.01) and who had a high SYNTAX score (10% vs 4%; HR 2.50; 95% CI 1.01 to 6.20; P=0.048). They also stated that cardiac death was more frequent in the CTO-PCI arm (6.0% vs 1.0%, P=0.02) with no difference in all-cause mortality. However, it is known that a major prognostic factor in STEMI patients with a concurrent CTO is the presence of collateral feeding...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.