Results and follow-up after percutaneous pulsed laser-assisted balloon angioplasty guided by spectroscopy.
BACKGROUND Few data are available on the long-term outcome of patients who undergo laser-assisted balloon angioplasty for recanalization of occluded peripheral arteries. Because the cost of laser angioplasty is high, the value of the method should be carefully analyzed before it can be considered a routine method for recanalization. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the early and late results of laser-assisted balloon angioplasty in patients who could not be recanalized by conventional techniques.
METHODS AND RESULTS Laser angioplasty was performed in 66 patients with total occlusion of the iliofemoral artery in whom mechanical techniques failed to recanalize the obstructed vessel. The system consisted of a pulsed dye laser operated at 480 nm, 2 microseconds/pulse, 5 Hz, 50 mJ/pulse coupled into a 0.021-in. laser catheter. The treatment laser was connected with a diagnostic laser to induce tissue fluorescence for spectroscopic analysis via the same fiber. The treatment laser was emitted only when atheromatous tissue was recognized. After a pilot hole was created by laser emission, dilatation was performed to enlarge the channel. The mean length of occlusion was 8.8 +/- 6.1 cm. The primary success rate was 82%. It did not depend on the length of occlusion but was greater in non-calcified than in calcified lesions (88% versus 71%, p less than 0.03). Complications included seven early reocclusions that could be recanalized and eight perforations without clinical sequelae. At a mean 18-month follow-up, 64% of the laser-treated arteries remained patent. The rate of patency was related neither to the length of the occlusion nor to calcifications but was lower in patients who had early reocclusion (p less than 0.02).
CONCLUSIONS Pulsed dye laser-assisted balloon angioplasty is effective for recanalization of totally occluded arteries that cannot be treated by conventional means. The efficacy is limited by calcifications. The long-term patency rate is acceptable given the severity of the lesions.
- Copyright © 1991 by American Heart Association