Photodynamic therapy (PDT) represents a novel method of selectively treating atherosclerosis using a combination of photosensitizer drug, low power laser light, and molecular oxygen. In this preliminary study, PDT was used to treat atherosclerotic lesions in a miniswine model. Yucatan miniswine weighing between 20-30 kg, were rendered atherosclerotic by a combination of balloon endothelial injury and dietary supplementation with 2% cholesterol and 15% lard diet for 7 weeks. Following this, miniswine were given a porphyrin-type photosensitizer, Photofrin 2.5 mg/kg IV. Twenty-four hours after receiving Photofrin, swine received a general anesthetic and the infrarenal abdominal aorta was exposed. Through a longitudinal aortotomy, the posterior aortic wall was irradiated with 630 nm laser light at one of the following light doses: 60, 120, and 240 J/cm2. Four weeks after PDT, swine were killed and perfusion- fixed with glutaraldehyde. Light microscopy showed a decrease in intimal thickness for all light doses. Decreased cellular elements were seen in the irradiated zones as the laser power was increased. Non-irradiated sites showed typical atherosclerotic lesions with foam cells, fibrosis and calcification. This study demonstrated the feasibility of using PDT for atherosclerotic lesions.