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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Excimer laser radiation for endarterectomy of experimental atheromas.

  • Author(s): Baribeau, Y
  • Eugene, J
  • Nhu, TT
  • Firestein, SL
  • Liaw, Y
  • Yow, L
  • Hammer-Wilson, M
  • Berns, MW
  • et al.

Open laser endarterectomy produces a smooth arterial surface with welded distal end points. This report evaluates 308-nm excimer laser radiation for the laser endarterectomy operation. Arteriosclerotic New Zealand white rabbits (N = 15) were studied. A thoraco-abdominal exploration was performed, the aorta was isolated, heparin was administered, and multiple endarterectomies were performed in each rabbit. A line of laser craters was created at the proximal and distal ends of an atheroma. Laser radiation was used to connect the craters to form the proximal and distal end points. The atheromas were dissected from the aorta with laser light and the end points were fused. The aortas were removed for light and electron microscopy and the animals were sacrificed. Excimer radiation was delivered by a 600-microns fiber at 50 mJ/pulse, 120-ns pulses and either 15- or 20-Hz frequency. At 15 Hz excimer laser endarterectomies showed no perforations along the surface or at the end points. The surfaces were smooth but the end points were not welded in place. At 20 Hz, perforations were seen along 7/11 surfaces and at 5/11 end points. Excimer laser endarterectomy is best performed at 15 Hz. The end points, however, cannot be welded with excimer laser radiation.

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