September 18, 2018
2 min read

CTO Education: Planning for 2019

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Chronic total occlusion PCI continues to rapidly evolve. One of the best ways to keep up — or go ahead — with new techniques, equipment and innovation is to attend a meeting. CTO PCI is covered in several meetings that are planned for 2019 (Table), both in the United States and abroad. Some are general interventional meetings that provide significant coverage of CTO PCI, while others are dedicated CTO PCI meetings.

Selecting a Meeting

How to decide which CTO PCI meeting to attend? Here are some factors to consider:

Emmanouil S. Brilakis

Content. Is the agenda appealing? Is it too basic or too advanced? Is there enough coverage of the areas that one is interested in?

Live cases.

Registration, travel costs.

Case competitions. Ability to present cases and receive feedback.

Goals of Meeting Participation

The No. 1 goal is to learn and improve. Improvements can be realized in patient selection and technique selection as well as application. These will in turn lead to better clinical outcomes.


The second goal is to network, which can be very valuable not only for learning, but also for getting support for cases and complications that may happen in the future.

The third goal is to have fun, which can be accomplished by combining learning and pleasure and visiting to a new location.

Finally, the fourth goal is to gain motivation and momentum in the quest for performing better CTO PCI and non-CTO PCI.


Attending a meeting is an excellent way to learn, as you are physically there and can focus on the content without other distractions. There are, however, multiple alternatives:

  • books;
  • journal articles;
  • websites, such as,, and; and
  • social media, such as Twitter — search and follow hashtags: #CTO101 and #CTOmanual — and YouTube.

Meetings and other forms or education are not mutually exclusive, but synergistic. It may be helpful to use the above resources to familiarize oneself with the basic concepts, techniques and terminology of CTO PCI before attending a meeting, as this will significantly enhance the learning value of the meeting itself.

Disclosure: Brilakis reports he receives consultant/speaker honoraria from Abbott Vascular, American Heart Association, Amgen, Boston Scientific, Cardiovascular Innovations Foundation, Cardiovascular Systems Inc., Elsevier, GE Healthcare, and Medtronic; he receives research support from Osprey; he holds equity in MHI Ventures; and he serves on the board of trustees for the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions.