At the first time, the CO2 laser was utilised in infective neurosurgical pathology as a surgical cutting
instrument to remove inflammatory pseudomembranes in chronic osteomyelitis, and as a vaporising
instmment on the dura mater surface.
Successively, the instrument, defocused and at a low power, was used for prolonged and diffuse photo
coagulation ofthe surgical cavity, particularly, ofthe dural surface and ofthe osteomyelitic bone edges, with
the aim to sterilise tissues.
So, we saw a shortening of the average time of wound healing and a lack of recurrence of the septic
Then, we have treated, with CO2 laser, intracranial infective pathology: i.e. primary abscesses, capsulated or
not, circumscribed purulent encephalitis, secondary abscesses in surgical cavities (patients operated for
intracranial hematomas and tumors). In these cases we have obtained a lack of septic recurrences and an
improvement ofneurological post-operative course.
Thank to these results, we have continued to use laser in infective pathology; for giving an experimental
support to these results we have carried on researches in vivo (on the experimental animal) to see the
interaction between the laser and inflammatory tissue, and in vitro (on bacterial culture: in solid and liquid
media) to see the laser effect on the bacterial cell. The bacterial cell has been also sensibiized to the photo
dynamic effect of the laser (Argon, He-Ne), with hematoporphyrin. The goal of these experiments is to
understand the role of thermal, photochemical, and mechanic resonance laser effects in the interaction
between laser radiation and bacterial cell.