Cedars-Sinai part of study published in Sept. 30 New England Journal of Medicine,,on laser procedure to relieve severe angina in cardiac patients

LOS ANGELES (Sept. 29, 1999) -- Cedars-Sinai Medical Center was one of 12 U.S. medical centers participating in a study on Transmyocardial Revascularization (TMR) -- a procedure designed to reduce severe angina in cardiac patients unsuitable for angioplasty or coronary bypass surgery -- published in the New England Journal of Medicine's Sept. 30 issue. Study results indicated significant declines in angina, reduced hospital stays, improved blood flow to the heart and increased survival rates for patients who underwent TMR. Approved by Medicare this summer, the procedure is now more readily accessible for an estimated 10 to 15 percent of patients with significant heart disease and few options.

Cedars-Sinai cardiothoracic surgeon Gregory Fontana, M.D., was co-investigator for the Transmyocardial CO2 Laser Revascularization Study Group and principal investigator for the medical center and the southwestern U.S. The article, submitted on behalf of the group by three participating physicians, is entitled "Transmyocardial Revascularization with a Carbon Dioxide Laser in Patients with End-Stage Coronary Artery Disease." Other sites for the research, conducted July 1995 through September 1997, included Cleveland Clinic, Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, Duke University Hospital, Texas Heart Institute and Northwestern University Medical School.

"This important study confirms the efficacy of transmyocardial laser revascularization in patients who are not candidates for bypass surgery or angioplasty," explained Dr. Fontana. "In many patients, the results have been dramatic."

In addition, TMR is being integrated into treatment strategies for patients who are not fully treated with angioplasty or bypass surgery, Dr. Fontana added. "Combining TMR with these procedures may lead to even greater blood supply to the heart."

In the study, investigators randomly assigned 91 patients to undergo TMR and 101 patients to continue medical treatment. The severity of an

Contact: Sandra Van
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

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