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Proceedings Paper

Current applications of lasers in heart disease
Author(s): Garrett Lee; Ming C. Chan; Dean T. Mason
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Paper Abstract

Although the laser has been in existence for abut 30 years, its application in heart disease has only been examined in the past decade. Much attention has been given its exciting potential in treating coronary artery disease. Transmitted through a catheter comprised of one or more thin optical fibers which can be threaded nonsurgically into the coronary artery, the laser can ablate atherosclerotic plaque that obstructs the artery and diminishes blood flow to the myocardium. In clinical studies, the laser can treat some obstructive lesions that are not suitable for balloon angioplasty (i.e., long and diffuse lesions, very tight stenoses, ostial lesions, calcified lesions). In patients who failed balloon angioplasty due to severe dissection or abrupt closure, the laser may seal up the dissections and restore antegrade blood flow. In addition, the laser may have other applications and treatment modalities that are still under investigation. It may ablate ectopic ventricular foci, or terminate supraventricular tachyrhythmia by destroying the heart's abnormal conduction pathways. It can cut the hypertrophied septum that is associated with left ventricular outflow tract obstruction, or create a channel in the atrial septum as a palliative procedure in newborns with transposition of the great vessels. It may provide a wider orifice for blood flow within the heart in infants with pulmonary outflow obstruction and in adults with aortic valvular stenosis. It is also capable of fusing small thin-walled blood vessels together. Further, a more intriguing possibility is its use to bore several tiny channels in the myocardium to allow oxygenated blood from within the ventricular chamber to perfuse the ischemic heart tissue.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 March 1993
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 1616, International Conference on Photodynamic Therapy and Laser Medicine, (5 March 1993); doi: 10.1117/12.136994
Show Author Affiliations
Garrett Lee, Beijing Medical Univ. (China) and Western Heart Institute (United States)
Ming C. Chan, Beijing Medical Univ. (China) and Western Heart Institute (United States)
Dean T. Mason, Beijing Medical Univ. (China) and Western Heart Institute (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1616:
International Conference on Photodynamic Therapy and Laser Medicine

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