Prevalence and outcomes of balloon undilatable chronic total occlusions: Insights from the PROGRESS-CTO

Bahadir Simsek, Spyridon Kostantinis, Judit Karacsonyi, Khaldoon Alaswad, Dimitri Karmpaliotis, Amirali Masoumi, Farouc A. Jaffer, Darshan Doshi, Jaikirshan Khatri, Paul Poommipanit, Sevket Gorgulu, Nidal Abi Rafeh, Omer Goktekin, Oleg Krestyaninov, Rhian Davies, Ahmed ElGuindy, Brian K. Jefferson, Taral N. Patel, Mitul Patel, Raj H. ChandwaneyOlga C. Mastrodemos, Bavana Venkata Rangan, Emmanouil S. Brilakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: The prevalence, treatment, and outcomes of balloon undilatable lesions encountered in chronic total occlusion (CTO) percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) have received limited study. Methods: We examined the clinical characteristics and procedural outcomes of balloon undilatable lesions in the Prospective Global Registry for the Study of CTO Intervention (PROGRESS-CTO, NCT02061436). Results: Of 6535 CTO PCIs performed between 2012 and 2022, 558 (8.5%) lesions were balloon undilatable. In this subset, patients were older (mean age 67 ± 10 vs. 64 ± 10, p < 0.001) and had higher prevalence of comorbidities: diabetes mellitus (54% vs. 40%, p < 0.001), prior PCI (71% vs. 59%, p < 0.001), prior myocardial infarction (52% vs. 45%, p = 0.003), and prior coronary artery bypass graft surgery (44% vs. 25%, p < 0.001). The CTO lesion length was estimated to be 34 ± 23 mm, mean J-CTO score was 2.9 ± 1.1 and mean PROGRESS-CTO score was 1.4 ± 1.0. A cutting balloon was used in 27%, a scoring balloon in 15%, laser in 14%, rotational atherectomy in 28%, orbital atherectomy in 10%, intravascular lithotripsy in 1% and other modalities/approaches in 5%. Balloon undilatable lesions had lower technical success (90.9% vs. 93.8%, p = 0.007) and higher incidence of major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) (composite of in-hospital death, acute myocardial infarction, stroke, re-PCI, emergency CABG, and pericardiocentesis) (5.0% versus 1.3%, p < 0.001). Conclusion: Approximately 1 in 12 CTO (8.5%) lesions are balloon undilatable. Treatment of balloon undilatable lesions is associated with lower technical success and higher in-hospital MACE.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInternational Journal of Cardiology
StateAccepted/In press - 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Balloon uncrossable
  • Balloon undilatable
  • Chronic total occlusion
  • Complications
  • Percutaneous coronary intervention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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