Coronary artery bypass surgery and angioplasty provide symptomatic relief in patients with ischemic heart disease, but despite advancement in technique and devices, these methods are not applicable to a subset of patients with angina refractory to medical treatment. Bypass surgery might not be feasible because of lack of suitable conduits, diffuse coronary disease or poor distal run-off, and coronary angioplasty is sometimes not applicable due to chronic total occlusion, diffuse disease or extreme tortuosity. We have previously reviewed the available experience with laser-induced direct myocardial revascularization, one of the new potential treatment modalities for this patient subset. One of the potential mechanisms of action for laser treatment is the induction of neoangiogenesis. In the second part of our article we review the available experience with the induction of myocardial angiogenesis using different growth factors or the genes encoding for them.
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