Balloon-Assisted Microdissection "bAM" Technique for Balloon-Uncrossable Chronic Total Occlusions

Minh N. Vo, Georgios Christopoulos, Dimitri Karmpaliotis, William L. Lombardi, J. Aaron Grantham, Emmanouil S. Brilakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Background: After successful guidewire passage, failure to cross the occluded segment with a balloon is the most common cause of procedural failure in coronary chronic total occlusion (CTO) intervention. We evaluated the safety and efficacy of the balloon-assisted microdissection (BAM) technique for treating these complex balloon-uncrossable lesions. METHODS: We identified consecutive cases treated with BAM for balloon-uncrossable CTOs between January 2012 and February 2015 at two experienced CTO percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) centers and reviewed their clinical and angiographic characteristics and procedural outcomes. RESULTS: During the study period, a total of 17 patients had BAM performed for balloon-uncrossable CTOs. Mean age was 65.5 ± 8.7 years and 94% of patients were males who often had prior myocardial infarction, PCI, and coronary artery bypass graft surgery. The most common CTO target vessel was the right coronary artery. Mean J-CTO score was 2.6 ± 1.1. Despite high lesion complexity, overall procedural success was 94% and BAM facilitated success in approximately one-half of these cases. All BAM failure cases except 1 were successfully recanalized utilizing additional techniques. No patient experienced a major complication. CONCLUSION: BAM is a simple, inexpensive, and safe technique that can facilitate crossing of balloon-uncrossable CTOs and can be considered as first-line treatment for these complex lesions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E37-E41
JournalJournal of Invasive Cardiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2016


  • balloon uncrossable
  • chronic total occlusion
  • percutaneous coronary intervention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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