Coronary Angioplasty Enters Its 40th Year

Angioplasty balloon being manufactured on the kitchen table in Gruentzig’s apartment

Today marks the 39th anniversary of the first percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) which was performed in 1977 by Dr. Andreas R. Gruentzig in Zurich, Switzerland. This angioplasty procedure utilized an expandable balloon, fashioned on a kitchen table in Gruentzig’s apartment by Gruentzig’s assistant, Maria Schlumpf (note the bottle of wine…and yes, she used Krazy Glue). So, as I always ruefully think about on my own birthday, one is actually celebrating the completion of that numeric year, and sometime later today, coronary angioplasty will be entering its 40th year. Kind of amazing. Continue reading

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Filed under History, Innovators, Video

NORSTENT: Drug-Eluting Stents – Doing What They’re Supposed To

Coronary StentsAt this week’s annual European Society of Cardiology Congress in Rome, an important randomized clinical trial on stents was presented by Professor Kaare H. Bønaa, MD, PhD of the Clinic for Heart Disease, St. Olav’s University Hospital in Trondheim, Norway. Called NORSTENT, short for the “Norwegian Coronary Stent Trial,” this was the largest stent trial ever conducted, with 9,013 patients followed for six years. That’s serious! Continue reading

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Filed under Antiplatelet Medications, Back to the Future, Bare Metal Stents, Clinical Trials / Studies, Cost Effectiveness, Diabetes, Drug-Eluting Stents, Europe, Global Trends, Media Coverage, Meetings & Conferences, Patient Experience, Patients, Stent, Stent Thrombosis

AimRADIAL Masterclass V + FFR Workshop in Budapest

budapest_palaceOn September 22-23, 2016, the 5th Advanced International Masterclass on the Transradial Approach will be held in Budapest, Hungary. And this year, AimRADIAL will be preceded on September 21 by a one-day comprehensive workshop covering all aspects of Fractional Flow Reserve (FFR) from the basic principles and set-up in the cath lab, to the differences between FFR, iFR, and CFR, a comprehensive review of the clinical study data so far, and finally a look at future modalities, like FFR-CT (although the title of that talk by Dr. Nick Curzen is “FFR-CT: the future is now“). Continue reading

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Filed under Angiograms, Cardiac CT, FAME I / FAME II, FFR, Global Trends, iFR, Medical Education, Meetings & Conferences, Patient Experience, Transradial Approach

InterZENtion: Transradial PCI as an Art

Transradial Coronary Interzentions by Dr. Ferdinand Kiemeneij

Transradial is one of the big buzzwords in interventional cardiology these days. In the United States practitioners recently have been discovering its advantages and have been learning how to perform it successfully. Utilization of transradial in the U.S. has jumped from 2% to almost 25% in less than a decade. In Europe, Japan, India, and China, transradial has been used for years and in most of those regions adoption runs from 50-90% of all catheter-based procedures. In Japan, and now in Europe, a specialized group of physicians has been pushing the limit of what can be done via the wrist artery, using “slender” procedures and equipment, with systems using 3, 4 and 5F sized catheters.

But the heart (pun intended) of this revolution in catheter-based access goes back over two decades to the pioneering work done by Dr. Ferdinand Kiemeneij, rightly dubbed “the father of transradial intervention.” You can read my interview with Dr. Kiemeneij here, but more importantly, you can and should and must read his brand-new hot-off-the-press book, “Transradial Coronary Interzentions,” available on Amazon. Continue reading

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Filed under Europe, France, Global Trends, Innovators, Japan, Medical Education, Patient Experience, Patients, Transradial Approach

An American Cardiologist in Paris

FranticNext week more than 12,000 cardiologists will stream into the Palais des Congrès in Paris to make presentations and learn about stents, angioplasty, fractional flow reserve, intravascular ultrasound, dual antiplatelet therapy, etc. It’s the annual EuroPCR meeting, “the world-leading course in interventional cardiovascular medicine.”

Just be careful in the shower and don’t answer the phone. Especially if you’re traveling with your wife! Continue reading

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Filed under France, Meetings & Conferences, Video

40 Years Ago, There Was a Poster at the American Heart Association Meeting….

Today being TBT (Throw Back Thursday) on Twitter, Dr. Jordan Safirstein (@CardiacConsult) posted a photo this morning of a poster that appeared 40 years ago at the 1976 American Heart Association meeting. (At the left is our photo of that poster from our history archive.)

It’s a meaningful poster, since it was the first public presentation of the concept and initial studies of something called “Percutaneous Dilation of Coronary Artery Stenosis” or simply, coronary angioplasty. This procedure had not yet been done in humans, but this poster directly led to that ground-breaking development within a year. Continue reading

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Filed under History, Innovators, Meetings & Conferences, Video

Happy 100th Anniversary to the RSNA

Mason Sones in a Philips cath lab of the 50's

Mason Sones in a Philips cath lab of the 50’s

This week the Radiological Society of North America, a.k.a. RSNA, is holding its annual meeting in Chicago. RSNA is an international society of radiologists, medical physicists and other medical professionals with more than 54,000 members from 136 countries across the globe. And this year the 55,000 attendees in Chicago are celebrating something special: the 100th anniversary of the RSNA.

To help honor the work of the Society, Angioplasty.Org would like to offer the video below which details the impact that imaging had on our field: the treatment of coronary artery disease. Continue reading

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Filed under ACC, Angiograms, History, Imaging, Innovators, Meetings & Conferences, Video