Laser recanalization of occluded atherosclerotic arteries in vivo and in vitro.
Controlled laser irradiation was used to recanalize atherosclerotic stenoses in vivo and in vitro. In 15 rabbits with atherosclerotic arteries a catheter was positioned in the distal aorta for angiographic examination and as a guide for a small silica optical fiber. Both Nd-YAG and argon lasers were used for recanalization with varying power and duration. As determined by angiographic studies the severity of iliofemoral stenoses in eight 15 arteries decreased from 78 +/- 18% to 32 +/- 11% (mean +/- SD). In one additional artery the stenosis improved from 45% to 25%, but this was associated with perforation. The other six arteries were perforated (two after fiber manipulation, four after laser discharge) without obvious improvement in severity of stenosis. No angiographic loss of distal circulation was noted. To better define tissue- laser interactions in the live-rabbits, lasing of 15 totally occluded atherosclerotic rabbit arterial segments in vitro was done while the optical fiber was advanced or fixed. When the fiber was fixed, serial sections showed that the new lumen was flame shaped. The width and depth of the lumen increased with increasing laser energy. When the fiber was advanced, histologic examination showed a smooth cylindrical vascular channel with limited lateral tissue damage. This study demonstrated that lasers can recanalize atherosclerotic stenoses in a live animal preparation; however, arterial perforation remains a problem.
- Copyright © 1985 by American Heart Association