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Ferdinand Kiemeneij and Shigeru Saito Honored at EuroPCR for Contributions to Transradial PCI
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Drs. Ferdinand Kiemeneij and Shigeru Saito
Drs. Ferdinand Kiemeneij and Shigeru Saito, the "Father and Mother of TRI"
May 20, 2015 -- Paris, FRANCE -- This year's EuroPCR meeting, the world-leading course in interventional medicine, honored two pioneers of the transradial (wrist) approach for coronary catheterization and intervention (TRI): Dr. Ferdinand Kiemeneij from The Netherlands and Dr. Shigeru Saito from Japan. Both have received the 2015 Ethica Award, bestowed by the PCR Board and EuroPCR Course Directors to remarkable individuals who have significantly contributed to the field of cardiovascular intervention as teachers, innovators, scientists, care providers, or pioneers. Commenting on this year's award, Dr. William Wijns, EuroPCR Course Co-Director, observed that, "both of this year's winners are all of the above."

Indeed! The photo (above) is from Dr. Saito's web site and he rightly captions it as "the Father and Mother of TRI."

Angioplasty.Org has long promoted greater utilization of the transradial approach, considering it to be safer and certainly more comfortable for the patient. We have hosted a special Transradial Center, devoted to information about this procedure, which offers interviews with leaders in the field, among them discussions with Dr. Kiemeniej and Dr. Saito.

At the EuroPCR in Paris, Course Co-Director Dr. Jean Fajadet praised the winners. "With Jean Marco in Toulouse, we were among the first to adopt radial access, as early as 1994. Since then, I had the privilege to work very closely with both Ferdinand and Shigeru in teaching the technique during numerous training sessions and LIVE demonstrations."

The press release from EuroPCR continues:

It's only recently that large randomized trials have started to establish the clinical benefits of a trans-radial approach, Wijns noted. Both Dr. Saito and Dr. Kiemeneij, however, recognized from the start that this was an interventional technique that put the patient first. "This is really an approach to diagnosis and therapy that puts patient comfort and "patient-friendly-ness" at its centre," Wijns said. "This is extremely important and it is at the heart of what we are trying to do with endovascular interventions. Patient comfort, patient-friendly: this is the ethos of interventional medicine, to reduce trauma, to reduce immobilization, and to improve patient quality of life."

Both Dr. Kiemeneij and Dr. Saito are internationally renowned for their contribution to developing technical aspects of trans radial interventions (TRI), as well as teaching colleagues from around the globe. Dr. Kiemeneij, Wijns noted, has developed a downloadable app called Kiemeneij's TRI-bune, "so that everyone can benefit from his expertise. Dr. Saito, quite apart from his work in the radial space, has spearheaded initiatives to allow the global evaluation of devices being tested for regulatory approval, potentially saving time, money, and the needless duplication of patient volunteers and physician commitment.

In accepting his award, Kiemeneij saluted the pioneering work of the late Lucien Campeau of the Montreal Heart Institute "who paved the way from the wrist to the heart," as well his own colleagues at Onze Lieve Vrouw Gasthuis in Amsterdam, who "gave up their comfortable femoral routine to explore the possibilities, promises and frontiers of transradial interventions."

"This award is definitely a most honourable one," Dr. Saito said. "Even now, I guess it might be a dream to achieve the Ethica Award with Dr. Ferdinand Kiemeneij."

The sentiment was echoed by Kiemeneij. "A tremendous benefit of what transradial interventions has brought to me personally is the invaluable and profound friendship with Dr. Shigeru Saito. We have been working intensively together, with so many pioneers, friends and supporters. I have learned a lot from Dr. Saito and I deeply and honestly admire his technical and educational skills."

Reported by Burt Cohen, May 20, 2015