Donate to Chronic Total Occlusion Research, Patient Care and Education

When excess fatty deposits, referred to as plaque, build up, arteries become narrowed and blocked. This blockage can prevent proper blood flow to the heart. Pressure can build up from this narrowing and cause angina or chest pain. Heart attacks and damage to the heart muscle can also occur as the result of chronic total occlusion (CTO). Nearly 25% of those diagnosed with coronary heart disease have chronic total occlusion. CTO is often referred to as a silent disease with minimal to no symptoms. Thanks to your generous donations, board-certified specialists at Northwestern Medicine continue to advance research and clinical trials designed to offer additional prevention, diagnostic and treatment options for those afflicted with CTO.

Some patients with CTO will experience no symptoms while some will show signs of CTO by experiencing the following symptoms:

  • Inability to exercise
  • Shortness of breath and chest pain
  • Jaw, neck, shoulder or arm pain
  • Chronic fatigue and weakness

While each of these symptoms alone does not necessarily mean CTO is present, it is highly recommended by the experts at Northwestern Medicine that you undergo a full medical examination. Risk factors for developing CTO include family history, tobacco use, excessive alcohol consumption as well as high cholesterol and diabetes. Cardiac MRIs, stress tests and Echocardiograms are among the test cardiologists use to diagnose CTO. Teams of experts at Northwestern Medicine are able to offer a host of treatments for patients diagnosed with CTO. These treatments include minimally invasive procedures to open the arteries from the blockage, inserting stents to increase the blood flow in the affected artery as well as catheterization procedures.  More often than not, lifestyle changes, which can include increased exercise, low-fat diet and physical therapy, may as well be prescribed as part of a total treatment.

Chronic Total Occlusion Research, Patient Care and Education Donation

Consider making a donation to Northwestern Memorial Foundation to increase diagnostic and treatment options available to physicians to offer to those suffering from CTO.


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