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Original article
Prognostic relevance of coronary collateral function: confounded or causal relationship?
  1. Christian Seiler1,
  2. Rebecca Engler1,
  3. Lea Berner1,
  4. Michael Stoller1,
  5. Pascal Meier2,
  6. Hélène Steck1,
  7. Tobias Traupe1
  1. 1Department of Cardiology, University Hospital, Bern, Switzerland
  2. 2Department of Cardiology, The Heart Hospital, University College London Hospitals, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor Christian Seiler, Department of Cardiology, University Hospital, Bern CH-3010, Switzerland; christian.seiler{at}


Objective To expand the limited information on the prognostic impact of quantitatively obtained collateral function in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) and to estimate causality of such a relation.

Design Prospective cohort study with long-term observation of clinical outcome.

Setting University Hospital.

Patients One thousand one hundred and eighty-one patients with chronic stable CAD undergoing 1771 quantitative, coronary pressure-derived collateral flow index measurements, as obtained during a 1-min coronary balloon occlusion (CFI is the ratio between mean distal coronary occlusive pressure and mean aortic pressure both subtracted by central venous pressure). Subgroup of 152 patients included in randomised trials on the longitudinal effect of different arteriogenic protocols on CFI.

Interventions Collection of long-term follow-up information on clinical outcome.

Main outcome measures All-cause mortality and major adverse cardiac events.

Results Cumulative 15-year survival rate was 48% in patients with CFI<0.25 and 65% in the group with CFI≥0.25 (p=0.0057). Cumulative 10-year survival rate was 75% in patients without arteriogenic therapy and 88% (p=0.0482) in the group with arteriogenic therapy and showing a significant increase in CFI at follow-up. By proportional hazard analysis, the following variables predicted increased all-cause mortality: age, low CFI, left ventricular end-diastolic pressure and number of vessels with CAD.

Conclusions A well-functioning coronary collateral circulation independently predicts lowered mortality in patients with chronic CAD. This relation appears to be causal, because augmented collateral function by arteriogenic therapy is associated with prolonged survival.

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