Short optical pulse duration excimer lasers produce very precise cuts in human artery with very little thermal or acoustic damage. However, an effective and reliable means of transmitting high-peak-power as well as high-average-power UV radiation down very small diameter fibers for excimer laser angioplasty has not been well established. Since long optical pulse duration excimer lasers may permit improved energy transmission down such fibers, It is important to verify that clean cuts can also be obtained with these long pulses. Figure 1 shows the in vitro cut made on mildly atherosclerotic human artery as a result of 100 shots at 5 J/cm2 from a long-duration [300-ns (FWHM)] XeCI laser. The cut is as clean and free of acoustic or thermal damage as any that we have obtained with short duration [10 ns (FWHM)] laser pulses.

© 1986 Optical Society of America

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