• In this multicenter clinical series of peripheral laser-assisted balloon angioplasty with an argon laser-heated, metallic-capped fiberoptic, angiographic and clinical success was achieved in a total of 155 (71%) of 219 attempted lesions. When the anatomy of the lesion was subjectively categorized by the angiographer into those considered possible or impossible to treat by conventional balloon angioplasty, clinical success was achieved in 116 (78%) of 149 lesions considered possible to treat with balloon angioplasty (39 [95%] of 41 stenoses and 77 [71%] of 108 occlusions). More importantly, clinical success was achieved in 39 (56%) of 70 lesions considered impossible to treat by conventional means. The incidence of complications, including vessel perforation (4.1%), with this new technique was equal to that reported for conventional balloon angioplasty, decreased with operator experience, and was less than that reported for argon laser angioplasty with bare fiberoptics. Thus, laser thermal angioplasty with a laser-heated, metallic-capped fiberoptic is a safe procedure that is easily learned by physicians skilled in interventional techniques. It allows for nonsurgical treatment of lesions considered difficult or impossible to treat by conventional balloon angioplasty.
(Arch Surg 1989;124:1099-1103)