Successful angioplasty can increase life span of patients with total occlusion

Last Updated: 2001-07-31 17:01:06 EDT (Reuters Health)

WESTPORT, CT (Reuters Health) – Successful percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty for a completely blocked artery significantly improves the 10-year survival rate, according to a report released Tuesday in the August issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Although angioplasty is well accepted, the investigators note that only one other report, of a smaller cohort, has documented improved survival for patients with chronic total coronary artery occlusion.

Dr. Barry D. Rutherford and colleagues, from St. Luke's Hospital, Kansas City, Missouri, collected data on 2007 such patients with total occlusion who underwent angioplasty between June 1980 and December 1999. They were compared with 2007 patients who underwent angioplasty of nonoccluded stenoses. Some patients also received a stent.

The researchers found that the 10-year survival rate was 73.5% among the subgroup of patients with chronic total occlusion who underwent successful angioplasty, greater than among those with total occlusion whose procedure was unsuccessful, 65.1% (p = 0.001).

Furthermore, that 73.5% survival rate for the successful group with total occlusion was similar to the 71.9% rate for the patients without occlusion whose procedure was successful (p = 0.33).

Even after multivariable adjustment, successful revascularization of a totally occluded artery remained associated with improved long-term survival, the investigators note.

Dr. Rutherford and colleagues conclude that the "striking survival advantage" justifies "an aggressive attempt at percutaneous coronary intervention of a chronic total coronary artery occlusion in eligible patients."

J Am Coll Cardiol 2001;38:409-414.

-Westport Newsroom 203 319 2700

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