A novel laser cutting and cooling system for crossing coronary chronic total occlusions

Nitesh Katta, Aleksandra Gruslova, Scott Jenney, Arnold D. Estrada, Andrew G. Cabe, Drew Nolen, Marc D. Feldman, Thomas E. Milner

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Coronary chronic total occlusions (CTOs) are atherosclerotic plaques comprised of lipid, fibrous and hard calcific material that originate in the vessel wall and extend into the lumen, restricting luminal cross-section by 100% resulting in complete stoppage of blood flow in the affected artery for at least three months. Due to their structure and calcific composition, CTOs are very difficult to treat with existing percutaneous coronary interventional (PCI) techniques. CTOs frequently have a hard fibro-calcific cap on the proximal side with a softer lipidic composition in the interior and distal side. We constructed a novel catheter system with a fiber coupled Ho:YAG laser (2.1um, Coherent Inc) for cutting and a biocompatible CO2 cooling system delivered through a 200um conduit for intravascular cooling. Laser radiation delivered a maximum average power of 20W corresponding to a pulse energy of 300mJ, pulse duration of 200μs, and a pulse repetition rate of 10Hz. Light emitted from the fiber was directed onto ex vivo suspect-calcified CTO arteries (n=3). Successful CTO crossing was achieved in all ex vivo samples. Histological processing showed greater than 50% reduction in residual thermal damage in crossed CTO regions with CO2 cooling compared to no cooling. The miniature device was also used to cross CTOs in an in vivo rabbit femoral CTO model (n=4) under Xray fluoroscopy guidance and subsequent contrast angiography confirmed restoration of blood flow.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationDiagnostic and Therapeutic Applications of Light in Cardiology 2022
EditorsLaura Marcu, Gijs van Soest
ISBN (Electronic)9781510647435
StatePublished - 2022
EventDiagnostic and Therapeutic Applications of Light in Cardiology 2022 - San Francisco, United States
Duration: Jan 22 2022Jan 27 2022

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


ConferenceDiagnostic and Therapeutic Applications of Light in Cardiology 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco


  • CO2 cooling
  • Coronary artery disease
  • CTO
  • Laser atherectomy
  • Therapeutics in cardiology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomaterials
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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