Challenging Case from MHIF’s Center for Coronary Artery Disease Team Selected as Award Winning Case at CTO-Connect

February 24, 2021

The Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation’s (MHIF) Center for Coronary Artery Disease (CCAD) team continues to garner worldwide recognition for its research to save and improve the lives of patients with coronary artery disease, the #1 cause of death in the world.

At the CTO Connect Conference held virtually Feb. 19-20, 2021, Judit Karacsonyi, MD, PhD, a senior research scholar in MHIF CCAD, was honored to be selected to present a case in the Award Winning Cases session. Out of all cases submitted to the conference, the session highlights the 10 most challenging and interesting cases in Chronic Total Occlusion Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (CTO-PCI) as a means to educate and highlight lessons learned for CTO PCI operators to incorporate into their own clinical practice.

The MHIF CCAD team has extensive expertise in CTO-PCI, which is a procedure to open a CTO, a complete blockage of a coronary artery for 30 days or longer. The minimally invasive procedure offers an alternative for patients with completely blocked arteries where standard catheter-based techniques may not be effective, or when open-heart surgery is considered too risky for a particular patient. The CTO-PCI procedure requires extraordinary skill; only 2 percent of U.S. interventional cardiologists are qualified to perform the range of techniques used.

In the case summary, titled Retrograde Right Coronary Artery Chronic Total Occlusion Percutaneous Coronary Intervention Through a Saphenous Vein Graft, Dr. Karacsonyi explained how specific CTO-PCI antegrade and retrograde strategies were attempted in a complex case of a patient with medically refractory angina and the specific retrograde strategy that was ultimately successful.

Dr. Karacsonyi is from the University of Szeged, Faculty of Medicine in Hungary who joined MHIF’s Center for Coronary Artery Disease in the winter of 2019. She came to the center through MHIF’s International Scholar program, which brings practicing physicians from countries around the world for a one- or two-year period to work directly with Minneapolis Heart Institute® physicians and advance MHIF’s physician-initiated cardiovascular research.

Other current and former MHIF CCAD researchers also served as moderators, presenters or discussants for a wide range of sessions at CTO Connect. Dr. Emmanouil S. Brilakis, chairman of MHIF CCAD, served as a course director and was a case guest operator on three cases:

  • RCA CTO in a Patient With Exertional Dyspnea and Abnormal Stress Test
  • Tortuous, Calcified RCA CTO in a Patient With Hypertension, Diabetes, and Exertional Dyspnea
  • RCA CTO in a Patient With Exertional Dyspnea

Also presenting were former MHIF Fellows Dr. Michael Megaly and Dr. Allison Hall. Dr. Megaly was a Cardiology Fellow at Minneapolis Heart Institute® for three years and Dr. Hall underwent a dedicated year of CTO-PCI training with Dr. Brilakis and Dr. Nicholas Burke in MHIF CCAD.

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