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.

Almost 60 years ago, Dr. Mason Sones at the Cleveland Clinic “discovered” selective coronary angiography. Discovered is in quotes because the incident was sort of accidental. Sones was injecting contrast dye into a patient’s aorta (the large blood vessel leading to the heart). But, as he was performing the aortogram, the catheter slipped into the left coronary artery and dye was injected. Previously, it was considered dangerous to inject dye into these smaller vessels. But this accident showed it was safe, and the result, selective coronary angiography, made possible the imaging of the coronary arteries, without which coronary artery bypass graft surgery and angioplasty would not have been possible.

The following video is a dramatic reading of Sones’ own words describing his “discovery.” The segment is part of a historical video that I created for the ACC’s permanent exhibit at Heart House in Washington, DC.

Mason Sones’ “Accidental” Discovery of Coronary Angiography
Leads to the Development of Bypass Surgery and Angioplasty (1:58)
© 2008, Venture Digital LLC • Music by
Nell Shaw Cohen

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