Treatment of symptomatic peripheral atherosclerotic disease with a rotational atherectomy device
Narrowings 70 to 90% in diameter in 3 iliac, 4 superficial femoral and 2 popliteal arteries were crossed and atherectomized successfully in 6 patients using the Squibb Rotablator under angiographic guidance during surgical bypass procedures on these arteries. The Rotablator consists of a 1.25 to 4.5 mm diameter oblong burr with tiny diamond blades mounted on a flexible shaft, which tracks over a spring-tip guidewire and rotates at speeds greater than 120,000 rpm. All stenoses were reduced to less than or equal to 50% of the normal luminal diameter. No significant complications occurred. Of the 6 patients having the atherectomy procedure, 5 were reevaluated by duplex Doppler measurements 1.5 to 5.5 (mean 3.5) months after atherectomy and found to be patient with only mild residual flow disturbance. Repeat follow-up by angiography after a mean of 5.2 months, however, showed only 3 (37%) of the atherectomized segments in 3 patients to still be patent. All were symptomatically improved. Of the effluent particles analyzed, 90% were less than 8 microns in size, while only 5% reached 250 microns. With improvements in technique, the largest particles were 150 to 180 microns, constituting only 1.4% of effluent debris. Samples of the effluent from 2 patients were injected in vivo into the left coronary system of 2 pigs. There were no acute hemodynamic or electrocardiographic complications or pathologic evidence of muscle necrosis or vascular thrombosis 18 to 48 hours later. These preliminary results with respect to feasibility and safety of the Rotablator are promising.