Excimer Laser Coronary Angioplasty: American Experience with the AIS System

  • James R. Margolis
  • S. Mehta
  • AIS Registry Investigators


Since Andreas Gruntzig’s first reported percutaneous dilatation of coronary arteries, in 1979 (1), a plethora of devices have been developed to perform nonsurgical dilatation of occluded and stenosed coronary arteries. Besides the wide availability of vastly improved PTCA equipment, various lasers, stents, atherectomy and angioscopy devices are broadening the applicability of interventional cardiology techniques (2–7). The new modalities may also be useful in avoiding some of the drawbacks of PTCA. Pathological and angioscopic examination of coronary arteries after even uncomplicated PTCA uniformly reveals a severely disrupted intimai surface (8–10). This intimal injury, an integral component of PTCA, may lead to early closure or late restenosis. PTCA is less successfully in long or calcified lesions, chronic total occlusions, ostial disease, diffusely diseased vessels and stenosed or occluded saphenous vein grafts (11). These limitations provided an impetus to develop technologies which could open coronary arteries without major intimai damage, and could deal effectively with coronary disease states where PTCA is impossible or less effective (12). Because laser coronary angioplasty actually removes atherosclerotic plaque, there are compelling theoretical reasons why it would be superior to PTCA for the treatment of complex lesions, and for the prevention of early abrupt closure and late restenosis (13–15).


Excimer Laser Chronic Total Occlusion Saphenous Vein Graft Laser Angioplasty Late Restenosis 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • James R. Margolis
    • 2
    • 1
  • S. Mehta
    • 1
  • AIS Registry Investigators
    • 1
  1. 1.Cardiovascular LaboratorySouth Miami HospitalMiamiUSA
  2. 2.Cardiovascular LaboratorySouth Miami HospitalMiamiUSA

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