Laser-assisted angioplasty of inferior vena caval obstructions: What's good for the artery is good for the vein



Three cases of hepatic inferior vena cava (IVC) obstruction (two segmental and one membranous) associated with Budd-Chiari syndrome were successfully treated with percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA) with use of an Nd-YAG (neodymium-yttrium, aluminum, garnet) laser. The occluded portions were canalized by advancing a ceramic-capped delivery system and delivering intermittent laser emissions. The canal was widened by simultaneous inflation of three or four Gruentzig balloon catheters. In two of the three cases, this procedure was done after unsuccessful canalization of the occluded portions by conventional means. Postoperatively, all patients showed disappearance of Budd-Chiari syndrome. One patient also showed marked regression of a huge intraluminal thrombus. There were no serious complications during and after the procedures. Use of the Nd-YAG laser seems to be of value in PTA for the treatment of hepatic IVC obstructions as well as in treatment of arteriosclerotic lesions.