Applicability and Interpretation of Coronary Physiology in the Setting of a Chronic Total Occlusion

Usaid K. Allahwala, Emmanouil S. Brilakis, Jonathan Byrne, Justin E. Davies, Michael R. Ward, James C. Weaver, Ravinay Bhindi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Concurrent coronary artery disease in a vessel remote from a chronic total occlusion (CTO) is common and presents a management dilemma. While the use of adjunctive coronary physiology to guide revascularization is now commonplace in the catheterization laboratory, the presence of a CTO provides a unique and specific situation whereby the physiological assessment is more complex and relies on theoretical assumptions. Broadly, the physiological assessment of a CTO relies on assessing the function and regression of collaterals, the assessment of the microcirculation, the impact of collateral steal as well as assessing the severity of a lesion in the donor vessel (the vessel supplying the majority of collaterals to the CTO). Recent studies have shown that physiological assessment of the donor vessel in the setting of a CTO may overestimate the severity of stenosis, and that after revascularization of a CTO, the index of ischemia may increase, potentially altering the need for revascularization. In this review article, we present the current literature on physiological assessment of patients with a CTO, management recommendations and identify areas for ongoing research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere007813
JournalCirculation: Cardiovascular Interventions
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2019


  • catheterization
  • incidence
  • microcirculation
  • myocardial infarction
  • thrombosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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