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Lucien Campeau, Transradial Pioneer, Dies at 82
His Technique is Now Used to Perform Angioplasty and Stent Placement Worldwide
Dr. Lucien Campeau
Dr. Lucien Campeau
    April 1, 2010 -- Dr. Lucien Campeau, pioneering cardiologist who first performed angiography through the radial artery in the wrist, passed away on March 15, 2010 at age 82 in Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts, Quebec. Dr. Campeau was one of the founding staff of the Montreal Heart Institute, joining in 1957 and subsequently holding positions of cardiologist, researcher, clinician, director of teaching, head of the hemodynamics laboratory, and head of the department of medicine. Dr. Campeau was also a full professor in the Department of Medicine at the Université de Montréal.

In addition to his seminal work in the catheterization laboratory and the transradial approach to catheter-based procedures, he worked in several areas of cardiology over a period of more than 40 years. Dr. Campeau is recognized internationally for his work on coronary bypass procedures, as well as for establishing the Canadian Cardiovascular Society Functional Classification of angina, which is used worldwide.

After obtaining his doctorate in medicine from Université Laval in 1953, Dr. Campeau completed a Fellowship in cardiology at John Hopkins University in Baltimore in 1956-1957. He then obtained a specialist’s certificate in cardiology from the Collège des Médecins et Chirurgiens de la Province de Québec in 1960, and in 1967 he became a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology. Dr. Campeau joined the faculty of medicine at the Université de Montréal in 1961 as a professor.

As well as playing a vital role in teaching and research, Dr. Campeau contributed significantly to the growth and renown of the university system and the Montreal Heart Institute. Recognized internationally for his expertise in cardiology and as a leader in the field in Canada, Dr. Campeau was considered an expert in the assessment and follow-up of patients requiring aortocoronary bypass procedures. The author of some 196 publications, he also presented at more than 200 scientific conferences throughout the world.

Dr. Campeau was the recipient of numerous awards during his career, among them the prix Jean Lenègre, the Wilbert J. Keon Award, the prix Carsley, the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Québec’s Heart Award, presented by the lieutenant-governor of the Quebec, as well as the Research Achievement Award presented by the Canadian Cardiovascular Society. In addition, Dr. Campeau was named "Cardiologue émérite 2004" by the Association des cardiologues du Québec.

In 1989, Dr. Campeau published his experiences in performing 100 coronary angiographies through the radial artery in the wrist in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology. Three years later, Dr. Ferdinand Kiemeneij of The Netherlands adapted Campeau's technique and performed the first coronary angioplasty from the transradial route. An alternative to the femoral approach from the groin, the radial technique is now performed in 40-50% of all angiographic procedures in many countries, affording patients more comfort, fewer complications and the ability to stand up and walk immediately after the procedure. Dr. Campeau's innovation continues to have a major impact on the practice of interventional cardiology, as more and more practitioners adopt his approach.

Dr. Campeau is survived by his wife Marielle, and his four sons, Michel, Alan, Mark and Stephen.

Colleagues of Dr. Campeau's have written a statement, "In Memoriam: Dr. Lucien Campeau 1927-2010", which can be read in French and English on Angioplasty.Org at


Reported by Burt Cohen, April 1, 2010