Background: Transmyocardial laser revascularization was used as the sole therapy for patients with ischemic heart disease not amenable to percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty or coronary artery bypass grafting. This technique uses a carbon dioxide laser to create transmyocardial channels for direct perfusion of the ischemic heart. Methods: Since 1992, 200 patients, at eight hospitals in the United States, have undergone transmyocardial laser revascularization. The patients have a combined 1560 months of follow-up for an average of 10 ± 3 months per patient. Their age was 63 ± 10 years and their ejection fraction was 47% ± 12%. Eighty-two percent had at least one previous bypass graft operation and 38% had a prior angioplasty. Preoperatively, the patients underwent nuclear single photon emission computed tomography perfusion scans to identify the extent and severity of their ischemia. These scans were repeated at 3, 6, and 12 months. Angina class, admissions for angina, and medications were recorded. Results: The perioperative mortality was 9%. Angina class decreased significantly from before treatment to 3, 6, and 12 months (p < 0.001). Likewise, there was a significant decrease in the number of perfusion defects in the treated left ventricular free wall. Concomitantly, there was a significant decrease in the number of admissions for angina in the year after the procedure when compared with the year before treatment (2.5 vs 0.5 admissions per patient-year). Conclusion: These combined results indicate that transmyocardial laser revascularization provides angina relief, decreases hospital admissions, and improves perfusion in patients with severe coronary artery disease.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine