Intra-arterial ultrasonic imaging
Present medical treatment for severe obstruction of the coronary disease is the surgical bypass procedure. Other and newer interventional techniques of a less traumatic nature are also being used to avoid surgery. Well-known is the balloon dilatation technique as described by Gruentzig et al. . With this method the obstruction is stretched, not removed, by a balloon that is gradually inflated. Other methods, presently tested in research laboratories, include the abrasive tip method as suggested by Hansen , an atherectomy catheter tip method as suggested by Simpson  and various versions of laser energy. Laser angioplasty, which is the in situ ablation of arterial obstructions with laser radiation, has shown to work in animal models and early clinical trials. A problem, however, with this technique, is the possibility of thermal damage to adjacent or underlying normal tissue that also absorbs the radiation. Penetration of the normal arterial wall may occur particularly in strongly curved arteries and when eccentricity of obstructions with relation to the arterial wall exists. This requires high selectivity of the ablation method or a ‘ steering’ capability.
KeywordsElastin Fiber Ablation Method Laser Angioplasty Arterial Obstruction Normal Arterial Wall
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