Proceedings PaperClinical Problems In Coronary Angioscopy
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I have been asked to talk about the clinical problems encountered when performing coronary angioscopy. By definition, this discussion will reflect negatively on the procedure. Nevertheless, after presenting some of the data, I hope you will leave thinking optimistically about the future of coronary angioscopy. The first topic that I would like to address, as shown in Figure 1, concerns the goals for coronary angioscopy. What great discoveries might we ekpect from this tool? Is the potential benefit worthy of a large research and development investment? Then, assuming these goals are meritorious, I will compare the difficulties of percutaneous angioscopy with that of a more fully explored technique- intraoperative angioscopy. I will next describe the differences between percutaneous angioscopy of peripheral vasculature, a procedure enjoying more widespread use, and percutaneous coronary angioscopy (a technique less often utilized). I will then outline the basic requirements for any percutaneous coronary angioscopy system whose attributes can resolve some of the inherent challenges of the technique. Even if this hypothetical instrument were developed and proved to be safe and functional, angioscopy will always have intrinsic limitations. I will next outline these shortcomings. This will be followed by a more optimistic topic- a review of the published studies that have utilized percutaneous coronary angioscopy. Finally, I will speculate on developments in coronary angioscopy for the near future.