top of page

BackTable / VI / Podcast / Episode #305

Tools for Crossing Challenging CTOs

with Dr. Jihad Mustapha

In this episode, host Dr. Sabeen Dhand interviews Dr. Jihad Mustapha, interventional cardiologist, about new technology for treating CLI, including CTOP classification, CTO crossing techniques, and reentry devices.

Sponsored by:

Reflow Medical

Be part of the conversation. Put your sponsored messaging on this episode. Learn how.

Tools for Crossing Challenging CTOs with Dr. Jihad Mustapha on the BackTable VI Podcast)
Ep 305 Tools for Crossing Challenging CTOs with Dr. Jihad Mustapha
00:00 / 01:04

BackTable, LLC (Producer). (2023, March 27). Ep. 305 – Tools for Crossing Challenging CTOs [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from

BackTable CMEfy button

Stay Up To Date



Sign Up:

Podcast Contributors

Dr. Jihad Mustapha discusses Tools for Crossing Challenging CTOs on the BackTable 305 Podcast

Dr. Jihad Mustapha

Dr. Jihad Mustapha is a practicing Interventional Cardiologist and CEO at Advanced Cardiac & Vascular Centers for Amputation Prevention in Michigan.

Dr. Sabeen Dhand discusses Tools for Crossing Challenging CTOs on the BackTable 305 Podcast

Dr. Sabeen Dhand

Dr. Sabeen Dhand is a practicing interventional radiologist with PIH Health in Los Angeles.


Dr. Jihad Mustapha is an interventional cardiologist who practices at Advanced Cardiovascular in Grand Rapids, MI. He used to perform the entire scope of interventional cardiology, until finding his passion in critical limb ischemia and dedicating his career to treating this complex disease. Advanced Cardiovascular has grown, and now includes a dedicated interventional cardiology department and a PAD/CLI specific department.

The basic principle for treating chronic total occlusions is to approach them from the best direction. This generally starts with an up and over technique to do the initial planning angiography. Dr. Mustapha then uses the wire and catheter technique, but limits his efforts to 5 minutes. If he can’t cross, he tries a new method. If he can cross but can’t reenter distally, then there are multiple methods to turn to, including reentry devices like the Outback and Pioneer. He emphasizes that when using reentry devices, you must measure the CTO and enter just after it ends, allowing no more than 1-2 mm of space between the cap and your reentry point. If it is impossible to reenter at that level, you should not use a reentry device and should turn to another method. The Chronic Total Occlusion crossing approach based on Plaque cap morphology (CTOP) classification is helpful when deciding how to safely approach a CTO or which technique to turn to, and Dr. Mustapha uses it in all his cases.

Next, we discuss pedal access. Dr. Mustapha acknowledges he hasn’t used reentry devices for years now, due to the fact that pedal access is so much quicker and works just as well. If a CTO has a complex CTOP classification, he doesn’t even try anterograde first, he just goes directly to pedal access and crosses retrograde. When he uses the retrograde approach to cross the CTO cap, he often finds the occlusion is not as long as he expects it to be, and also that he is intraluminal much more often than he initially anticipates. For long chronic total occlusions (CTOs), he starts with pedal access, crosses the CTO plaque cap, and continues through the occlusion, stopping just before the reentry point. If it pops through the cap, he then uses the tibiopedal artery minimally invasive retrograde revascularization (TAMI) technique, but if it does not, he comes anterograde and uses the flossing technique.

Finally, we discuss how to use the Wingman device, as well as tips for using the Jenali and modified Schmidt techniques. Finally, we discuss new devices coming soon in the CLI arena. Dr. Mustapha is excited about companies that are creating a 2-in-1 device that allows you to cross the CTO and then use it as a reentry device. Dr. Mustapha parts by telling listeners that CTOs are never friendly, whether long, short, calcified, or non-calcified, but as long as you anticipate this and go into a case expecting surprises, you’ll do well.


Transcript Preview

[Dr. Jihad Mustapha]
CTOs are never friendly. Long, short, classified, and unclassified. As long as you accept that right off the bat and knowing that you're going into a CTO and expect the unexpected, you're going to do well. The basics of chronic total occlusions is approaching it from the best directions for instance. Up and over in the United States still actually the primary methods.

Disclaimer: The Materials available on are for informational and educational purposes only and are not a substitute for the professional judgment of a healthcare professional in diagnosing and treating patients. The opinions expressed by participants of the BackTable Podcast belong solely to the participants, and do not necessarily reflect the views of BackTable.

Become a BackTable Sponsor

Up Next

Navigation Software for IR Guidance with Dr. Merve Ozen on the BackTable VI Podcast)
Design Thinking in Healthcare with Dr. Gregg Khodorov on the BackTable VI Podcast)
Empowering Patients Through Image Sharing: The PocketHealth Story with Rishi Nayyar on the BackTable VI Podcast)
The TheraSphere Story with Dr. Riad Salem and Peter Pattison on the BackTable VI Podcast)
New Tools to Treat Severe Distal Femoropopliteal Disease with Dr. John Rundback on the BackTable VI Podcast)
Iliofemoral Stenting: Decision-Making & Best Practices Explored with Dr. Kush Desai and Dr. Steven Abramowitz on the BackTable VI Podcast)


Chronic Total Occlusion (CTO) Basics

Chronic Total Occlusion (CTO) Basics

CTO Devices for Crossing, Re-Entry & The Future of Chronic Total Occlusion Treatment

CTO Devices for Crossing, Re-Entry & The Future of Chronic Total Occlusion Treatment


Arterial Stenting Procedure Prep
Learn about Innovation on BackTable VI
Limb Salvage Procedure Prep

Get in touch!

We want to hear from you. Let us know if you’re interested in partnering with BackTable as a Podcast guest, a sponsor, or as a member of the BackTable Team.

Select which show(s) you would like to subscribe to:

Thanks! Message sent.

bottom of page