Laser technology provides long-term angina relief to heart patients

November 14, 2000

Presentation at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2000 provides data that demonstrates pain relief for five years

LOS ANGELES (November 15, 2000) - A breakthrough laser therapy -- transmyocardial revascularization (TMR) -- that provides significant pain relief to severe angina patients is currently utilized at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

Today, at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2000, researchers presented results from a long-term study on the efficacy of TMR using a carbon dioxide (CO2) Heart Laser, which was developed by PLC Medical Systems Inc. The data demonstrated that the CO2 TMR procedure provided patients angina relief for five years. The presentation was entitled "Sustained Angina Relief Five Years After Transmyocardial Revascularization with a CO2 Laser."

According to Cedars-Sinai cardiothoracic surgeon, Gregory Fontana, M.D., "This new technique holds new hope for patients with severe chest pain who have no other options." Cedars-Sinai, the first medical center in the southwest to provide TMR, has the longest and largest surgical experience in the region and previously participated in three major, national clinical trials. Dr. Fontana has performed approximately approximately 100 TMR procedures.

Alfredo Trento, M.D., Director of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Cedars-Sinai stated, "The laser technology continues to demonstrate its effectiveness in treating patients with debilitating angina. At Cedars-Sinai, our TMR patients have experienced an impressive reduction in chest pain. The long-term angina relief allows the patients to vastly improve the quality of their lives, which is what we are striving for."

Five Year Analysis Presented at AHA

The first multi-center, long-term study on the efficacy of TMR with a CO2 Heart Laser has demonstrated that the procedure provides significant long-term angina relief beyond five years.

Angina classifications were prospectively collected from eight clinical sites, which included 78 patients up to seven years after TMR. Their median age was 61 years at the time of treatment. Preoperatively, 66 percent had unstable angina, 73 percent had suffered at least one myocardial infarction, 93 percent had undergone at least one coronary artery bypass graph, 42 percent had at least one angioplasty, 74 percent were in angina class IV and 26 percent were in class III. Their average pre-TMR angina class was 3.7.

One year after CO2 TMR, the average angina class was recorded at 1.5. At 4.6 years, the average angina class remained virtually unchanged at 1.6. Seventeen percent of the patients had no angina after five years and 64 percent were in class I or II. A decrease of at least two angina classes was considered significant. By this criterion, 68 percent of the patients had successful long-term angina relief.

TMR is performed through an incision in the chest and does not require that the patient be placed on a heart-lung bypass machine. The very effective laser treatment uses a CO2 Heart Laser system. During the procedure, the surgeon places the laser on the wall of the heart, and when the laser is activated, a new bloodline is created in less than one millisecond. The surgeon uses the laser to create 20 to 40 channels into the left ventricle of the heart. The channels allow oxygen-rich blood to reach previously deprived areas of the heart. Since 1990, PLC's Heart Laser has treated more than 6,500 patients.
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Cedars-Sinai Medical Center is one of the largest and finest nonprofit hospitals in the Western United States, renowned for its diagnostic and treatment capabilities and its broad spectrum of clinical programs and services as well as for leading-edge biomedical research and superlative medical education. Ranked among the 12 non-university hospitals in the nation for research, the Medical Center has contributed such scientific advances as the excimer laser for clearing clogged arteries and the Swan-Ganz catheter for monitoring the condition of cardiac patients at bedside, which have changed the practice of medicine worldwide.

For media information and to arrange an interview, please call 1-800-396-1002.

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

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