Nontransmural laser treatment incompletely denervates canine myocardium

King F. Kwong, Richard B. Schuessler, Georgios K. Kanellopoulos, Jeffrey E. Saffitz, Thoralf M. Sundt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Background - Clinical experience with transmyocardial laser revascularization (TMLR) has reproducibly demonstrated an improvement in angina class. Denervation has been implicated as a mechanism whereby this clinical effect may be achieved. Because endovascular techniques for TMLR are currently under development, we investigated the impact of nontransmural endoventricular laser treatment on cardiac nerves in a canine model. Methods and Results - Five mongrel dogs underwent creation of nontransmural endoventricular channels in the anterior left ventricle with a Holmium:YAG laser. Cardiac afferent nerve function was assessed in control and treatment regions by the epicardial application of bradykinin, a potent algesic, at initial thoracotomy before laser treatment, and at repeat thoracotomy 2 weeks later. The resulting central nervous system-mediated decrease in systemic mean arterial pressure seen in all animals at baseline was reduced by 90% at 2 weeks in the laser-treated territory but was preserved in controls. Immunoblot analysis of tissue samples taken from laser-treated regions demonstrated a 66% reduction in tyrosine hydroxylase, a sympathetic nerve- specific enzyme, as assessed by densitometry. Enzyme content was unchanged in control regions. Conclusions - These data suggest that nontransmural endoventricular laser treatment only partially denervates the heart. This may have implications for the clinical efficacy of the endovascular approach in the relief of angina pectoris.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)II67-II72
Issue number19 SUPPL.
StatePublished - Nov 10 1998


  • Lasers
  • Myocardium
  • Revascularization


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