Opening Totally Blocked Arteries May Improve Quality of Life

Restoring blood flow in the right patient can lessen chest pain, shortness of breath and fatigue.

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Yet about 30 percent of cardiac catheterizations performed in patients with stable coronary artery disease show evidence of a chronic total occlusion (CTO). In this situation, blood flow through a coronary artery has been totally blocked for more than three months. Studies have shown that when more than 10 percent of the heart muscle is affected by a CTO, the patient has a significantly higher risk of death or major adverse cardiac event. These patients often suffer from angina that is severe enough to impact their quality of life.
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