Functional comparison of transmyocardial revascularization by mechanical and laser means

Keith A. Horvath*, Noam Belkind, Irene Wu, Rodney Greene, John Doukas, Jon W. Lomasney, David D. McPherson, David A. Fullerton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Background. As a result of the clinical benefit observed in angina patients treated by transmyocardial revascularization (TMR) with a laser, interest in mechanical TMR has been renewed. Although the injury induced by mechanical TMR is similar to laser TMR, the resultant impact on myocardial contractility is unknown. The purpose of this study was to determine whether mechanical TMR improves ventricular function as compared with laser TMR in chronically ischemic myocardium. Methods. After establishing an area of chronic myocardial ischemia, 25 domestic pigs were randomized to treatment by: excimer laser (group I), a hot needle (50°C) (group II), a normothermic needle (group III), an ultrasonic needle (40 KHz) (group IV), or no treatment (group V). All devices create a transmural channel of the same diameter; 22 ± 1 transmural channels were created in each animal. Regional myocardial contractility was assessed by measuring ventricular wall thickening at rest and with dobutamine stress echocardiography. Six weeks after revascularization, the animals were restudied at rest and with stress. Postsacrifice and histologic analysis of angiogenesis and TMR effects was then assessed. Results. Laser TMR provided significant recovery of ischemic myocardial function. This improvement in contractility after laser TMR was a 75% increase over the baseline function of the ischemic zone (p < 0.01). Mechanical TMR provided no significant improvement in function posttreatment. In fact, TMR achieved with an ultrasonic needle demonstrated a 40% worsening of the contractility versus the pretreatment baseline (p < 0.05). Histologic analysis demonstrated a significant increase in new blood vessels in the ischemic zone after laser TMR, which was not demonstrated for any of the other groups (p < 0.05). Additionally, evaluation of the mechanical TMR channels demonstrated significant scarring, which correlated with the functional results. Conclusions. Using devices to create an injury analogous to the laser, mechanical TMR failed to improve the function of chronically ischemic myocardium. Only laser TMR significantly improved myocardial function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1997-2002
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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