Chronic Total Occlusion Crossing Approach Based on Plaque Cap Morphology

The CTOP Classification

Fadi Saab, MD, Michael R. Jaff, DO2, Larry J. Diaz-Sandoval, MD, Gwennan D. Engen, BSN, Theresa N. McGoff, BSN, George Adams, MD, Ashraf Al-Dadah, MD, Philip P. Goodney, MD, Farhan Khawaja, MD, and Jihad A. Mustapha, MD

Purpose: To present the chronic total occlusion (CTO) crossing approach based on plaque cap morphology (CTOP) classification system and assess its ability to predict successful lesion crossing.

Methods: A retrospective analysis was conducted of imaging and procedure data from 114 consecutive symptomatic patients (mean age 69±11 years; 84 men) with claudication (Rutherford category 3) or critical limb ischemia (Rutherford category 4-6) who underwent endovascular interventions for 142 CTOs. CTO cap morphology was determined from a review of angiography and duplex ultrasonography and classified into 4 types (I, II, III, or IV) based on the concave or convex shape of the proximal and distal caps.

Results: Statistically significant differences among groups were found in patients with rest pain, lesion length, and severe calcification. CTOP type II CTOs were most common and type III lesions the least common. Type I CTOs were most likely to be crossed antegrade and had a lower incidence of severe calcification. Type IV lesions were more likely to be crossed retrograde from a tibiopedal approach. CTOP type IV was least likely to be crossed in an antegrade fashion. Access conversion, or need for an alternate access, was commonly seen in types II, III, and IV lesions. Distinctive predictors of access conversion were CTO types II and III, lesion length, and severe calcification.

Conclusion: CTOP type I lesions were easiest to cross in antegrade fashion and type IV the most difficult. Lesion length >10 cm, severe calcification, and CTO types II, III, and IV benefited from the addition of retrograde tibiopedal access.

Keywords: antegrade access; chronic total occlusion; critical limb ischemia; peripheral artery disease; plaque cap; plaque morphology; retrograde access; tibiopedal access.

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