Lasers in Medical Science

, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp 317–321 | Cite as

Improved results of coronary excimer laser angioplasty by the use of advanced transmission devices

  • Andreas Baumbach
  • Karl K. Haase
  • Karl R. Karsch


Excimer laser angioplasty is an alternative method for the treatment of obstructive coronary lesions. Initial clinical results demonstrated the safety and feasibility of the procedure. However, efficacy was limited by low catheter flexibility and unreliable energy transmission. Advanced transmission devices were used in 80 interventions in 79 patients. The catheter diameter is 1.3, 1.5 or 1.8 mm, the catheters consist of 20, 30 or 35 quartz fibres (100 μm) respectively. The mean energy density was 55 ±18 mJ mm−2, mean loss of energy transmission was 20%. The pulse width was 60 ns and 115 ns in 40 interventions each. The target vessel was the LAD in 53, the LCX in 6 and the RCA in 21 interventions.

Failure of laser angioplasty occurred in 10 patients due to failed guidewire placement (N=6), failed catheter placement (N=3) or impossibility to cross the lesion with the catheter (N=1). Stand-alone laser angioplasty was performed in 43/70 procedures. Additional balloon angioplasty was necessary due to an unsatisfactory result (N=10) or due to complications (N=17) in 27 patients. Vessel occlusion occurred in 18 patients (25%) and could be successfully resolved by balloon dilatation (N=16) or additional laser angioplasty (N=1) in 17 patients. Two early occlusions were found at the 24-h control angiography. The incidence of myocardial infarction and in-hospital death (N=1) was 1.4%.

Conclusion: The use of an advanced energy delivery system with trusted energy transmission and higher energy density increased the primary success rate of stand-alone excimer laser angioplasty. However, further improvement of catheter flexibility and reduction of dead space at the catheter tip is necessary to optimize ablation efficacy.

Laser angioplasty Coronary artery disease PTCA 


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Copyright information

© Baillière Tindall 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andreas Baumbach
    • 1
  • Karl K. Haase
    • 1
  • Karl R. Karsch
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of CardiologyUniversity of TübingenGermany

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