Abstract

Laser angioplasty is a rapidly widening field. However, at present, the experimental research on human patients is limited by severe technical problems, particularly in the case of coronary arteries. The risk of mechanical or laser-induced perforations is likely the most serious. To get rid of this drawback here a new fiber-optic probe is described, characterized by a corolla shaped output beam and by no axial radiation. The probe consists of a conical fiber tip inserted in a particular quartz microcapsule. Its optical behavior has been studied both experimentally and theoretically, using a ray tracing method. Some preliminary tests carried out on the aorta wall from a cadaver are also described. The results seem to confirm that the new probe minimizes the risk of vessel perforation, while its diameter is suitable even for coronary applications.

© 1989 Optical Society of America

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