• Open Access

Changing strategies of the retrograde approach for chronic total occlusion during the past 7 years


  • Conflict of interest: Nothing to report.

Correspondence to: Toshiya Muramatsu, MD, Division of Cardiology, Saiseikai Yokohama-City Eastern Hospital, 3-6-1 Shimosueyoshi, Tsurumu-ku, Yokohama-Shi, Kanagawa-Pref., Japan. E-mail: t-mura@tj8.so-net.ne.jp



We reviewed the technical changes and results achieved with the retrograde approach since we introduced it 7 years ago.

Subjects and Methods

The subjects were 1,268 patients who were treated for CTO between January 2004 and December 2010. They were investigated with respect to the success rate, the frequency of employing the retrograde approach and its outcome, and other factors.


The retrograde approach was employed in ∼30% of chronic total occlusion (CTO) patients (n = 281) and the retrograde guidewire success rate was 81.1%. The kissing wire technique was substituted for the retrograde approach in 126 of the 281 patients, with antegrade crossing of a guidewire being successful in 88 of them (70%). The retrograde approach was combined with the CART and reverse controlled antegrade retrograde tracking (CART) techniques in 22 and 21 patients, respectively. Among 83 patients treated with Corsair catheters, crossing of the CTO was achieved in 63. The overall procedural success rate was 79.7% (224 patients). Complications of the retrograde approach included collateral channel dissection (2.1%), channel perforation (1.7%), CTO perforation (1.7%), and donor artery occlusion (1.1%).


The success rate and safety of the retrograde approach are both satisfactory if the appropriate devices and techniques are selected. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.