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Tex Heart Inst J. 2004;31(3):231-9.

Transmyocardial laser revascularization as an adjunct to coronary artery bypass grafting: a randomized, multicenter study with 4-year follow-up.

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  • 1Cardiopulmonary Transplant Service and the Cullen Cardiovascular Research Laboratories of the Texas Heart Institute, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.


We evaluated transmyocardial laser revascularization (TMLR) with coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) versus CABG alone for severe coronary artery disease involving 21 myocardial region unsuited for CABG. At 4 centers, 44 consecutive patients were randomized for CABG+TMLR (n = 23) or CABG alone (n = 21). Operative and in-hospital mortality and morbidity rates were monitored. Clinical status was evaluated at hospital discharge, 1 year, and 4 years. Success was characterized by relief of angina and freedom from repeat revascularization and death. Preoperatively, 20 patients (47%) were at high risk. The CABG technique, number of grafts, and target vessels were similar in both groups. Patients undergoing CABG+TMLR received 25 +/- 11 laser channels. Their < or = 30-day mortality was 13% (3/23) compared with 28% (6/21) after CABG alone (P = 0.21). There were no significant intergroup differences in the number of intraoperative or in-hospital adverse events. The follow-up period was 50.3 +/- 17.8 months for CABG alone and 48.1 +/- 16.8 months for CABG+TMLR. Both groups had substantially improved angina and functional status at 1 and 4 years, with no significant differences in cumulative 4-year mortality. The incidence of repeat revascularization was 24% after CABG alone versus none after CABG+TMLR (P < 0.05). The 4-year event-free survival rate was 14% versus 39%, respectively (P < 0.064). In conclusion, CABG+TMLR appears safe and poses no additional threat for high-risk patients. Improved overall success and repeat revascularization rates may be due to better perfusion of ischemic areas not amenable to bypass. Further studies are warranted to determine whether these trends are indeed significant.

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