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      Influence of the Availability of Laser Transmyocardial Revascularisation on Surgical Strategy in Patients with Advanced Coronary Artery Disease


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          Objective: To compare the planned and actual revascularisation techniques used in patients undergoing cardiac surgery for refractory angina when excimer transmyocardial laser revascularisation (TMR) is available. Methods: Observational series of 31 patients (mean age 65 years) with severe angina [mean CCS score (SD) 3.8 (0.4)] and three-vessel coronary artery disease judged unsuitable for conventional bypass surgery alone. All patients underwent cardiac surgery: revascularisation techniques were determined by the operative findings. Results: Pre-operative strategy was altered by the intra-operative findings in 13 patients (42%). In 5 (16%), the coronary vessels proved graftable and TMR was unnecessary. Conversely, in 6 patients (19%) an anticipated graft could not be performed and TMR was used as an alternative. In 2 patients (7%), neither strategy was possible. Overall, TMR was performed as a stand-alone procedure in 9 (29%) and combined with CABG in 17 (55%). Operative mortality was low: 0% at 30 days and 6% at 6 months. Mean CCS class (SD) improved post-operatively from 3.8 (0.4) to 1.7 (1.1) (p < 0.01). Conclusions: The pre-operative coronary angiogram is an imperfect predictor of which coronary vessels are suitable for grafting. The availability of laser TMR allows the cardiac surgeon to accept cases which would otherwise be considered inoperable and to respond better to intraoperative findings. The combination of laser TMR and bypass grafts provides good short- and medium-term symptomatic improvement with a low post-operative mortality.

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          Most cited references 8

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          Randomised controlled trial of self-supervised and directly observed treatment of tuberculosis.

          Tuberculosis is a major public-health problem in South Africa, made worse by poor adherence to and frequent interruption of treatment. Direct observation (DO) of tuberculosis patients taking their drugs is supposed to improve treatment completion and outcome. We compared DO with self-supervision, in which patients on the same drug regimen are not observed taking their pills, to assess the effect of each on the success of tuberculosis treatment. We undertook an unblinded randomised controlled trial in two communities with large tuberculosis caseloads. The trial included 216 adults who started pulmonary tuberculosis treatment for the first time, or who had a second course of treatment (retreatment patients). No changes to existing treatment delivery were made other than randomisation. Analysis was by intention to treat. Individual patient data from the two communities were combined. Treatment for tuberculosis was more successful among self-supervised patients (60% of patients) than among those on DO (54% of patients, difference between groups 6% [90% CI -5.1 to 17.0]). Retreatment patients had significantly more successful treatment outcomes if self-supervised (74% of patients) than on DO (42% of patients, difference between groups 32% [11%-52%]). At high rates of treatment interruption, self-supervision achieved equivalent outcomes to clinic DO at lower cost. Self-supervision achieved better outcomes for retreatment patients. Supportive patient-carer relations, rather than the authoritarian surveillance implicit in DO, may improve treatment outcomes and help to control tuberculosis.
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            Comparison of transmyocardial revascularization with medical therapy in patients with refractory angina.

            Transmyocardial revascularization involves the creation of channels in the myocardium with a laser to relieve angina. We compared the safety and efficacy of transmyocardial revascularization performed with a holmium laser with those of medical therapy in patients with refractory class IV angina (according to the criteria of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society). In a prospective study conducted between March 1996 and July 1998 at 18 centers, 275 patients with medically refractory class IV angina and coronary disease that could not be treated with percutaneous or surgical revascularization were randomly assigned to receive transmyocardial revascularization followed by continued medical therapy (132 patients) or medical therapy alone (143 patients). After one year of follow-up, 76 percent of the patients who had undergone transmyocardial revascularization had improvement in angina (a reduction of two or more classes), as compared with 32 percent of the patients who received medical therapy alone (P<0.001). Kaplan-Meier survival estimates at one year (based on an intention-to-treat analysis) were similar for the patients assigned to undergo transmyocardial revascularization and those assigned to receive medical therapy alone (84 percent and 89 percent, respectively; P=0.23). At one year, the patients in the transmyocardial-revascularization group had a significantly higher rate of survival free of cardiac events (54 percent, vs. 31 percent in the medical-therapy group; P<0.001), a significantly higher rate of freedom from treatment failure (73 percent vs. 47 percent, P<0.001), and a significantly higher rate of freedom from cardiac-related rehospitalization (61 percent vs. 33 percent, P<0.001). Exercise tolerance and quality-of-life scores were also significantly higher in the transmyocardial-revascularization group than in the medical-therapy group (exercise tolerance, 5.0 MET [metabolic equivalent] vs. 3.9 MET; P=0.05); quality-of-life score, 21 vs. 12; P=0.003). However, there were no differences in myocardial perfusion between the two groups, as assessed by thallium scanning. Patients with refractory angina who underwent transmyocardial revascularization and received continued medical therapy, as compared with similar patients who received medical therapy alone, had a significantly better outcome with respect to improvement in angina, survival free of cardiac events, freedom from treatment failure, and freedom from cardiac-related rehospitalization.
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              Transmyocardial revascularization with a carbon dioxide laser in patients with end-stage coronary artery disease.

              The construction of subendocardial channels to perfuse ischemic areas of the myocardium has been investigated since the 1950s. We assessed the safety and efficacy of transmyocardial revascularization with a carbon dioxide laser in patients with refractory angina and left ventricular free-wall ischemia that was not amenable to direct coronary revascularization. In a prospective, controlled, multicenter trial, we randomly assigned 91 patients to undergo transmyocardial revascularization and 101 patients to receive continued medical treatment. The severity of angina (according to the Canadian Cardiovascular Society [CCS] classification), quality of life, and cardiac perfusion (as assessed by thallium-201 scanning) were evaluated at base line and 3, 6, and 12 months after randomization. At 12 months, angina had improved by at least two CCS classes in 72 percent of the patients assigned to transmyocardial revascularization, as compared with 13 percent of the patients assigned to medical treatment who continued medical treatment (P<0.001). Patients in the transmyocardial-revascularization group also had a significantly improved quality of life as compared with the medical-treatment group. Myocardial perfusion improved by 20 percent in the transmyocardial-revascularization group and worsened by 27 percent in the medical-treatment group (P=0.002). In the first year of follow-up, 2 percent of patients assigned to undergo transmyocardial revascularization were hospitalized because of unstable angina, as compared with 69 percent of patients assigned to medical treatment (P<0.001). The perioperative mortality rate associated with transmyocardial revascularization was 3 percent. The rate of survival at 12 months was 85 percent in the transmyocardial-revascularization group and 79 percent in the medical-treatment group (P=0.50). In patients with angina refractory to medical treatment and coronary artery disease that precluded coronary-artery bypass surgery or percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty, transmyocardial revascularization improved cardiac perfusion and clinical status over a 12-month period.

                Author and article information

                S. Karger AG
                June 2001
                28 June 2001
                : 95
                : 2
                : 90-95
                aDepartment of Cardiology, Western General Hospital, and bCardiothoracic Surgical Unit, The Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
                47352 Cardiology 2001;95:90–95
                © 2001 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 5, Tables: 2, References: 22, Pages: 6
                Cardiac Catheterization and Interventional Cardiology


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