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Treating chronic total occlusions using subintimal tracking and reentry: the STAR technique.

  • Colombo, Antonio
  • Mikhail, Ghada W
  • Michev, Iassen
  • Iakovou, Ioannis
  • Airoldi, Flavio
  • Chieffo, Alaide
  • Rogacka, Renata
  • Carlino, Mauro
  • Montorfano, Matteo
  • Sangiorgi, Giuseppe M
  • Corvaja, Nicola
  • Stankovic, Goran
Published Article
Catheterization and cardiovascular interventions : official journal of the Society for Cardiac Angiography & Interventions
Publication Date
Apr 01, 2005
PMID: 15789384


Successful recanalization of coronary total occlusions (CTOs) remains an area where improvements are needed. We propose an approach similar to the one utilized in treating some peripheral artery occlusions and aimed to create a subintimal dissection with distal reentry. A 0.014' hydrophilic wire with a J-configuration is utilized for this purpose. We applied this technique to CTO of native coronaries in 31 patients where previous attempts failed in 21 of them (67%). The right coronary artery (RCA) was the index vessel in 87% of patients. Recanalization of the vessel and of most of distal branches was achieved in 21 patients; patency of at least one major distal branch was achieved in 9 patients. Drug-eluting stents (DESs) were implanted in 53% of patients. Three patients had intraprocedural vessel perforation without consequences. Five patients (16%) had in-hospital non-Q-wave myocardial infarction. No other adverse events occurred at a mean follow-up of 5.1 +/- 3.7 months except for one noncardiac death. Angiographic follow-up was performed in 21 (67%) patients and 53% of them developed restenosis. Reintervention on the target vessel was performed in 11 patients (52%). Complete success with the procedure was originally obtained in 8 of the 10 patients who did not develop restenosis and in 8 of them DESs were originally implanted. This technique appears a promising approach to recanalize difficult total occlusions, particularly the ones localize on the RCA, which has the most important side branches located distally.

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