Excimer Laser Revascularisation: Current Indications, Applications and Techniques
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. The ultraviolet pulsed excimer laser (308 nm wavelength) is currently the only laser approved by the FDA for percutaneous intervention in patients with ischemic coronary artery disease. The clinical presentation of the treated patients varies from stable and unstable angina to acute myocardial infarction. Potential advantages of excimer laser revascularisation in acute coronary syndromes and in ischaemic obstructive peripheral vascular disease include concomitant plaque debulking and thrombus removal; absence of systemic lytic state; shortened thrombus clearing time and facilitation of adjunct balloon angioplasty and stenting. Improved understanding of laser–tissue interactions and positive clinical outcomes through the use of safe lasing techniques have led to expansion of indications/applications for laser angioplasty. These include stent restenosis, complex lesions and thrombotic stenoses, bifurcation lesions, balloon failure, total occlusions, focal saphenous vein graft lesions and peripheral arterial obstructions. The excimer laser can be effectively utilised in patients with depressed left ventricular ejection fraction and does not require implantation of a temporary pacemaker as no-reflow phenomenon and severe arrhythmias are rarely encountered. Careful case selection, proper utilisation of equipment and incorporation of efficient lasing techniques play a crucial role in effective and safe cardiovascular laser applications.
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