Laser for balloon uncrossable and undilatable chronic total occlusion interventions

Judit Karacsonyi, Khaldoon Alaswad, James W. Choi, Evangelia Vemmou, Ilias Nikolakopoulos, Paul Poommipanit, Nidal Abi Rafeh, Ahmed ElGuindy, Imre Ungi, Mohaned Egred, Emmanouil S. Brilakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: There is limited information on use of laser in complex percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI). We examined the impact of laser on the outcomes of balloon uncrossable and balloon undilatable chronic total occlusion (CTO) PCI. Methods: We reviewed baseline clinical and angiographic characteristics and procedural outcomes of 4845 CTO PCIs performed between 2012 and 2020 at 32 centers. Results: Of the 4845 CTO lesions, 752 (15.5%) were balloon uncrossable (523 cases) or balloon undilatable (356 cases) and were included in this analysis. Mean patient age was 66.9 ± 10 years and 83% were men. Laser was used in 20.3% of the lesions. Compared with cases in which laser was not used, laser was more commonly used in longer length occlusions (33 [21, 50] vs. 25 [15, 40] mm, p = 0.0004) and in-stent restenotic lesions (41% vs. 20%, p < 0.0001). Laser use was associated with higher technical (91.5% vs. 83.1%, p = 0.010) and procedural (88.9% vs. 81.6%, p = 0.033) success rates and similar incidence of major adverse cardiac events (3.92% vs. 3.51%, p = 0.805). Laser use was associated with longer procedural (169 [109, 231] vs. 130 [87, 199], p < 0.0001) and fluoroscopy time (64 [40, 94] vs. 50 [31, 81], p = 0.003). Conclusions: In a contemporary, multicenter registry balloon uncrossable and balloon undilatable lesions represented 15.5% of all CTO PCIs. Laser was used in approximately one-fifth of these cases and was associated with high technical and procedural success and similar major complication rates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-37
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Cardiology
StatePublished - Aug 1 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Chronic total occlusion
  • Laser
  • Percutaneous coronary intervention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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