It has been almost a decade since transmyocardial laser revascularization (TMR) was approved for clinical use in the United States. The safety of TMR was demonstrated initially with nonrandomized studies in which TMR was used as the only treatment for patients with severe angina. TMR efficacy was proven after multiple randomized controlled trials. These revealed significant angina relief compared to maximum medical therapy in patients with diffuse coronary disease not amenable to conventional revascularization. In light of these results, TMR has been used as an adjunct to coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG). By definition, patients treated with this combined therapy have more severe coronary disease and comorbidities that are associated with end-stage atherosclerosis. Combination CABG + TMR has resulted in symptomatic improvement without additional risk. The likely mechanism whereby TMR has provided benefit is the angiogenesis engendered by the laser-tissue interaction. Improved perfusion and concomitant improvement in myocardial function have been observed post-TMR. Additional therapies to enhance the angiogenic response include combining TMR with stem cell-based treatments, which appear to be promising future endeavors.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine