Objectives: This study was designed to investigate whether transmyocardial laser revascularization induces myocardial denervation and to correlate this with myocardial perfusion and clinical status. Methods: Transmyocardial laser revascularization was performed with a Holmium: YAG (n = 3) or xenon chloride excimer laser (n = 5). Preoperative and postoperative iodine 123-labeled meta-iodobenzylguanide SPECT scintigraphy to assess cardiac innervation and perfusion scintigraphy were also performed. Furthermore, New York Heart Association functional angina class and quality of life were assessed. Results: In all patients postoperative iodine 123-labeled meta-iodobenzylguanide SPECT showed significantly decreased uptake and therefore sympathetic myocardial denervation at up to 16 months' follow-up (average preoperative and postoperative summed defect scores of 14.8 ± 5.3 and 24.5 ± 4.2, respectively; P = .00005). In 86% of segments, the decreased meta-iodobenzylguanide uptake could be correlated to the treated area. In all patients angina was reduced by 2 or more classes at 12 months' follow-up, and quality of life improved significantly. Conclusions: Transmyocardial laser revascularization-induced improvement of angina and quality of life can be explained by destruction of nociceptors or cardiac neural pathways, changing the perception of anginal pain.
Beek, J. F., Van Der Sloot, J. A. P., Huikeshoven, M., Verberne, H. J., Van Eck-Smit, B. L. F., Van Der Meulen, J., … Tukkie, R. (2004). Cardiac denervation after clinical transmyocardial laser revascularization: Short-term and long-term iodine 123-labeled meta-iodobenzylguanide scintigraphic evidence. Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, 127(2), 517–524. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0022-5223(03)00973-5