Nigerian Journal of Cardiology

: 2017  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 31--34

Percutaneous intervention for Optitorque tiger catheter-induced dissection of the right coronary artery and aortic root

Sheshagiri Rao Damera, Ramachandra Barik, Akula Sivaprasad 
 Department of Cardiology, Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences, Hyderabad, Telangana, India

Correspondence Address:
Ramachandra Barik
Department of Cardiology, Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences, Hyderabad - 500 082, Telangana


A 59-year-old female developed iatrogenic Type F spiral dissection of the right coronary artery (RCA) with retrograde extension as Type III aortic dissection (AD) during diagnostic coronary angiogram using 5 Fr Optitorque Tiger catheter. The spiral dissection of RCA was treated with angioplasty. AD was followed up with conservative management. The prompt identification of the starting point, the true lumen, and exit point of the dissection is the keys to the successful percutaneous revascularization. Visual eyeballing into multiple angiographic views is of immense help in the situation where optical coherence tomography and intravenous ultrasound are not available.

How to cite this article:
Damera SR, Barik R, Sivaprasad A. Percutaneous intervention for Optitorque tiger catheter-induced dissection of the right coronary artery and aortic root.Nig J Cardiol 2017;14:31-34

How to cite this URL:
Damera SR, Barik R, Sivaprasad A. Percutaneous intervention for Optitorque tiger catheter-induced dissection of the right coronary artery and aortic root. Nig J Cardiol [serial online] 2017 [cited 2022 Aug 15 ];14:31-34
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Full Text


The incidence of coronary artery dissection is [1],[2] The frequency of iatrogenic right coronary artery (RCA) dissection is more common than the left coronary artery, especially doing angiogram using unusual catheter (Amplatzer), anomalous origin, and diseased ostium. Now, 5 Fr TIG Optitorque catheter (Terumo Corporation, NJ, USA) is used for routine diagnostic angiogram via transradial approach because less amount of Type I collagen around the ostium of coronary artery (RCA) with retrograde extension.[3] The diameter of the ostium of the left coronary artery was larger than that of the right. This is one of the very few diagnostic catheters which hook both the coronaries because of supportive primary and secondary curves. The true incidence of coronary artery dissection is not known using this catheter for routine angiogram. Tiger catheter which is known for its slender profile, soft body, and coaxial curves hooks most of RCA effortlessly and hooks deeply with relatively more clockwise rotation. The ostial or ostioproximal dissections may rarely extend retrogradely to the right coronary sinus and ascending aorta. Acute aortic dissection (AD) during cardiac catheterization has an estimated incidence of 0.02–0.04%.[4],[5] The incidence is higher during percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) with an overall incidence of 0.03% than during diagnostic procedures (<0.01%).[6] It is more often seen while performing primary PCI than elective PCI. The extent of dissection ranges from A to F of National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) grade of dissection severity.[7] The associated AD may mandate surgical intervention, which carries a mortality risk of up to 25%.[8]

 Case Report

A 59-year-old female, nondiabetic, nonhypertensive, dyslipidemic, and body mass index of 24.9 kg/m 2 with Grade IIII stable angina pectoris Canadian Cardiovascular Society underwent coronary artery angiography (CAG) via right transradial approach using 5 Fr TIG Optitorque catheter (Terumo Corporation, NJ, USA). Coronary angiogram revealed mild disease of the left coronary artery and diffuse disease of RCA involving proximal and the middle part. Just after the completion of CAG, she suffered a spiral dissection (Type F, NHLBI) of RCA [Figure 1] and Videos 1 and 2] but there was no chest pain. This dissection extended retrogradely into the right coronary sinus and ascending aorta (Type III)[7] as shown in Video 3. Her hemodynamic was stable. Heparinization was reversed with protamine. Therefore, immediate PCI or coronary bypass graft was avoided and her condition was followed. Although emergency coronary bypass graft and aortic wall repair were planned, it was deferred because of the lack of consent. She continued to be asymptomatic. Angiogram after a month was performed to profile dissection [Figure 2] and Videos 4-8]. Computed tomographic (CT) angiography was not done. The RCA, right coronary sinus, and neighboring part of ascending aorta are shown in [Figure 2] and Videos 4-8. The angioplasty of dissection of RCA was done with the restoration of thrombolysis in myocardial infarction (TIMI) III flow. The starting point, lumen, and the exit points of dissection coronary artery were profiled with the support of multiple views. The procedure was done without optical coherence tomography (OCT) and intravenous ultrasound (IVUS) due to nonavailability. The right Judkin's guide catheter (6 Fr), PT ChoICE floppy guidewire (Boston Scientific, USA), and 1.25 mm Sprinter balloon (Medtronic Vascular, USA) were used to cross the entire length of dissection of length 50 mm were used for successful crossing of the dissection. Then, the lesion was successfully stented using two drug-eluting stents of size 28 mm × 2.5 mm and 23 mm × 2.75 mm in the distal to the proximal part in tandem with nominal pressure [Figure 2]d. The sealed and healed AD was left for further improvement [Figure 2]d and Videos 4-8].{Figure 1}{Figure 2}

Ethical Committee approval was not sought though a detailed informed consent was taken for intervention.


Iatrogenic coronary artery dissection during diagnostic angiogram or PCI results from mechanical injury to the arterial wall during catheter or wire manipulation, passage or deployment of an interventional device, forceful injection of contrast medium, or balloon dilatation or stenting.[9] Patients with ostial coronary artery stenosis, hypertension, Marfan syndrome, congenitally unicuspid and bicuspid aortic valves, and cystic medial necrosis have been reported to be at higher risk of dissection.[10] A high index of suspicion is necessary during coronary angiography. The first documentation of coronary artery dissection or intimal tear was documented in 1981.[11] In 1991, a systematic classification of coronary artery dissection (A to F) as a complication of coronary angioplasty followed.[7] Iatrogenic coronary artery dissections extending into and involving the aortic root was described in 2000.[4]

Iatrogenic AD is a severe complication during cardiac catheterization. In many cases, the entry site is located in the coronary artery where a dissection occurs following trauma caused by the tip of the guiding catheter or balloon dilation. A forceful injection of contrast into the subintimal space may sometimes appear to play a major role in extending the dissection retrogradely to the aortic root with existing coronary ostial disease, deep hooking catheter, or malaligned catheter. The dissection in the coronary may extended to the Valsalva sinus and the ascending aorta.[12],[13] If a dissection is limited to the aortic sinus of Valsalva, it will resolve with conservative treatment only. However, when it extends over the aortic sinus of Valsalva, the treatment of an iatrogenic AD is still controversial. Dunning et al.[4] retrospectively reviewed nine coronary artery-ADs and reported that patients with limited aortic involvement were successfully managed with stenting of the entry point of the coronary dissection, whereas ADs extending more than 40 mm in length required surgical intervention. However, in some cases, excluding the entry point from the bloodstream by coronary stenting was sufficient to prevent the extension of the AD. In addition, this conservative management, defined as the “watchful waiting” strategy, showed a favorable evolution and constituted the definitive therapy.[14]

In our case, an extensive iatrogenic AD extending up to the entire ascending aorta without hemodynamic compromise had been effectively treated by coronary stent implantation. Stenting of the ostium of the RCA sealed the entry point of the dissection, preventing its further progression. The present case report suggests that if the patient is hemodynamically stable, sealing the coronary entry with a coronary stent, and excluding dissection progression with CT surveillance can be a reasonable strategy even in the case of an extensive dissection of the ascending aorta, reserving surgery for cases with documented progression of the dissection. It is empirical to use IVUS or OCT in this case for better identification of true lumen because routine angiographic views may not be able to identify the true lumen. Dilatation or stenting of false lumen further worsens the dissection inviting emergency coronary artery bypass grafting which is associated with higher mortality.[15],[16],[17] IVUS and OCT help in diagnosis, differential diagnosis, and true lumen identification for angioplasty. IVUS supports even the completion of angioplasty in such situation without using antegrade contrast injection or minimal number of angiographic views to prevent further dissection, but OCT always needs contrast injection to keep the lumen free of red blood cell for the proper imaging.[18],[19] However, OCT imaging offers a better spatial resolution than IVUS in this complication. Even today, the real practice in this situation is limited by nonavailability of IVUS and OCT everywhere and every time irrespective of geographic territory. We could successfully have completed angioplasty in the dissected RCA without the help of IVUS and OCT. The entire angioplastic reconstruction supported by the fair visual perception of spiral dissection in multiple angiographic views. This unusual illustration is an example of nonsurgical management of iatrogenic spiral dissection of RCA and contained retrograde Type III dissection. We could have further improved the quality of care in this using CT aortogram during follow-up just after dissection.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.


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