Progressive Collateral Stenosis Leading to Symptomatic Chronic Total Occlusion




LewisGale Medical Center

Document Type

Case Report

Publication Date



cardiology, interventional cardiology, angioplasty and stenting, chronic total occlusion


Cardiology | Cardiovascular Diseases | Internal Medicine


We present a case of chronic total occlusion (CTO) in a functional 79-year-old female with no past history of coronary artery disease, who was previously asymptomatic due to robust collateral circulation. A 79-year-old Caucasian female presented to the emergency department complaining of chest pain radiating to the neck, jaw, left arm with associated numbness in the left fingers, that had started earlier in the day. She has no previous cardiac history and never had similar symptoms before. Troponin levels were negative. Nuclear stress test showed findings worrisome for ischemia and was a high-risk exam. The patient underwent diagnostic angiography. There was complete total occlusion of the mid right coronary artery, with collateral circulation supplying the distal right coronary artery territory. Ultimately, it found that progressive stenosis of the left anterior descending (LAD) artery led to inadequate collateral circulation and completely occluded the right coronary artery’s territory, causing the patient’s new-onset angina. Afterwards, the patient underwent percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). Successful implantation of two drug-eluting stents occurred. The final angiographic result was 0% residual stenosis and Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction (TIMI)-3 flow. CTO affecting one or more coronary arteries is not uncommon in patients taken to the catheterization laboratory. However, despite recent advancements in PCI outcomes, treatment of CTO by PCI remains relatively low, due to fear of adverse outcomes such as cardiac perforations. Recent research has supported the safety of performing PCIs on patients with CTO. This case report further reinforces the need to approach treating CTO via angioplasty.

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