Laser angioplasty with a metal laser probe ('hot tip'): Probe temperature in blood

Rudolf M. Verdaasdonk*, Cornelius Borst, Luc H M A Boulanger, Martin J C van Gemert

*Corresponding author for this work

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In vitro experiments to determine the physical characteristics of a metal laser probe for laser angioplasty are described. The probe was filmed in stationary saline and plasma. The temperature of the probe was measured with thermocouples in air, stationary saline, whole blood, diluted packed cells (40%) and plasma. In the latter three media an envelope of denatured blood elements was found on the probe. This envelope entrapped a vapour layer which acts as an effective insulator, allowing the probe temperature to reach 600°C within 3 s of application of 10 W from an neodymium-YAG laser. Our observations suggest that the transfer of heat from the metal to the tissue will depend both on the formation and destruction of this thermally insulating envelope, which may well protect the arterial wall from heat injury during laser angioplasty.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-158
Number of pages6
JournalLasers in medical science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 1987
Externally publishedYes


  • Hot tip
  • Laser angioplasty
  • Metal laser probe

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