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What is the LaTis laser?

The LaTis laser device which is being studied, could be used on a patient 8 to 24 hours after their stroke symptoms appeared, depending on the location of the clot.

In this case, the laser is encased in a catheter. This is inserted in the groin and then guided through the body to the brain. The doctors can monitor the catheter's progress as it relates to the location of the blood clot through an imaging device, such as an angiogram.

When they reach the clot, the doctors push the catheter through the blood clot. As doctors pull the catheter back, they fire the laser. The laser, which is able to sense color and light, only fires at the red of the blood clot - not at the white vessel wall.

Scientists at the Oregon Stroke Center revealed in 2000 that they had vaporized a blood clot in just 49 seconds, using the LaTIS laser.

However, problems inserting the catheter have resulted in limited success in follow-up testing.

The LaTIS laser device breaks up the clot using powerful, 1-second pulses.

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