Karl J. Karlson, MD

Emeritus Assistant Professor, Surgery

Karl Karlson
88 E. Newton St Newton Pavilion


As a clinical cardiac surgeon, I am frequently confronted with the problems of revascularization of the ischemic heart. Coronary artery bypass grafting is often employed to deliver new blood supply to the myocardium, but occasionally the anastomoses fail because of the development of neointimal hyperplasia and fibrosis where vessel connections are constructed. Using nanotechnology to deliver agents to the site of the anastomoses could be a game changer in terms of graft patency.

Transmyocardial laser revascularization of the heart has been shown to trigger neovascularization in underperfused regions of the myocardium not amenable to standard revascularization. The prospect of using nanotechnology to deliver growth factor or other agents in a targeted fashion to the area of the laser channels may help to achieve a quantum increase in the benefit realized from the laser surgery.

Other Positions

  • Member, Evans Center for Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research, Boston University
  • Chief, Cardiac Surgery, Boston Medical Center


  • Brown University School of Medicine, MD
  • Brown University, MMS
  • Brown University, AB


  • Published on 7/25/2021

    Brydges H, Yin K, Balasubramaniyan R, Lawrence KW, Luo R, Karlson KJ, McAneny DB, Edwards NM, Reardon MJ, Dobrilovic N. Primary Pericardial Mesothelioma: A Population-Based Propensity Score-Matched Analysis. Semin Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2021 Jul 25. PMID: 34320396.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 12/22/2020

    Yin K, March RJ, Hoopes CW, Balk RA, Raman J, Lateef OB, Tiwari A, Bak E, Karlson KJ, Edwards NM, Dobrilovic N. Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation in the management of granulomatosis with polyangiitis. J Card Surg. 2021 Feb; 36(2):743-747. PMID: 33350513.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 10/7/2020

    Yin K, Brydges H, Lawrence KW, Wei Y, Karlson KJ, McAneny DB, Edwards NM, Reardon MJ, Dobrilovic N. Primary cardiac lymphoma. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2020 Oct 07. PMID: 33158567.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 1/23/2020

    Yin K, Luo R, Wei Y, Wang F, Zhang Y, Karlson KJ, Zhang Z, Reardon MJ, Dobrilovic N. Survival outcomes in patients with primary cardiac sarcoma in the United States. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2021 07; 162(1):107-115.e2. PMID: 32111430.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 7/2/2014

    Lazar HL, Ketchedjian A, Haime M, Karlson K, Cabral H. Topical vancomycin in combination with perioperative antibiotics and tight glycemic control helps to eliminate sternal wound infections. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2014 Sep; 148(3):1035-8; 1038-40. PMID: 25129595.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 10/1/1994

    Dunton RF, Karlson KJ, Leonardi HK, Jenkins RL, Berger RL. Coronary artery bypass grafting in patients with transplanted livers. Ann Thorac Surg. 1994 Oct; 58(4):1054-8. PMID: 7944749.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 5/1/1994

    Staples MH, Dunton RF, Karlson KJ, Leonardi HK, Berger RL. Heparin resistance after preoperative heparin therapy or intraaortic balloon pumping. Ann Thorac Surg. 1994 May; 57(5):1211-6. PMID: 8179387.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 4/1/1994

    Berger RL, Dunton RF, Leonardi HK, Karlson KJ. Pack and close approach to persistent postcardiopulmonary bypass bleeding. J Am Coll Surg. 1994 Apr; 178(4):353-6. PMID: 8149034.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 12/1/1992

    Dzik WH, Fleisher AG, Ciavarella D, Karlson KJ, Reed GE, Berger RL. Safety and efficacy of autologous blood donation before elective aortic valve operation. Ann Thorac Surg. 1992 Dec; 54(6):1177-80; discussion 1180-1. PMID: 1449306.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 5/1/1992

    Berger RL, Karlson KJ, Dunton RF, Leonardi HK. Replacement of the thoracic aorta with intraluminal sutureless prosthesis. Ann Thorac Surg. 1992 May; 53(5):920-7. PMID: 1571002.

    Read at: PubMed

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