The purpose of this study was to examine the safety and efficacy of the Frontrunner XP CTO (chronic total occlusion) Catheter (Cordis) for recanalization of long femoropopliteal artery occlusions. A Frontrunner catheter was used to treat 26 CTOs in SFA after guidewire failure (68.3 +/- 8.8 years). Sixty-seven percent of patients had severe claudication. Critical lower limb ischemia with rest pain or minor tissue loss was present in three and eight patients, respectively. All the lesions were considered complex (TASC B, C, and D); 68% of the lesions were heavily calcified. The mean lesion length was 17.6 cm (range, 10-42 cm). The initial attempt to cross the occlusion with the CTO guidewire V18 was unsuccessful in 26 of 76 limbs (34.26%). A secondary attempt using the Frontrunner catheter (crossover approach, 27%; antegrade, 73%) performed in all 26 failed cases was successful in 17 limbs (65.38%), increasing the technical success rate to 88.12%. The main reasons for failure with the Frontrunner were inability to cross the lesion due to heavy calcification (six of nine) and inability to re-enter the true lumen after subintimal passage of the occluded segment (three of nine). The mean fluoroscopy time was 22.9 min. Minor complications included one distal extension of the dissection with involvement of the first popliteal segment and one perforation in the occluded segment. No major complications were seen. In conclusion, recanalization with the Frontrunner CTO catheter is a simple and safe method with a high technical success rate in the endovascular treatment of long superficial femoral artery occlusions and should be an alternative method after guidewire failure.
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