I recently was rifling through some old files of news clippings (you remember those pesky things, don’t you?) and came across a major New York Times Magazine feature from 1983. It was titled, “Toward the Conquest of Heart Disease.”
Three decades ago, as the article describes, the main treatments were surgical: valve replacement and the “far more complicated, technically demanding” bypass graft surgery. The author, Harry Schwartz, also identifies some exciting new advances in heart disease treatment: artificial hearts, heart transplants, new drugs, something called nuclear magnetic resonance (N.M.R.) that was “being used in a handful of hospitals” (today we call it MRI!). Continue reading
Lutonix and IN.PACT drug-coated balloons
Last week saw the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) approve reimbursement for the two drug-coated balloons that recently were approved by the FDA: C. R. Bard’s Lutonix and Medtronic’s IN.PACT.
C. R. Bard’s Lutonix drug-coated balloon (DCB) was approved in October 2014, while Medtronic’s IN.PACT Admiral was approved in January of this year. Both devices have shown superior results when compared to uncoated balloons (a.k.a. “plain old balloon angioplasty” or POBA). Continue reading
Dr. Charles Dotter in LIFE Magazine (1964)
Who is that mad scientist in the 1964 issue of LIFE magazine? Oh, just the man who invented the concept of angioplasty; in fact he’s the man who actually coined the word “angioplasty!” And he’s the doctor who performed the first angioplasties in the leg, in order to save limbs from amputation without resorting to surgery.
Like many innovators, he had a crazy idea: to open blocked arteries from the inside out. No cutting, suturing, or stitching. Less trauma, lower morbidity, quicker recovery. His name was Charles Dotter and he was a radiologist in Portland, Oregon who, 51 years ago next week, performed an angioplasty on the blocked leg artery of an 82-year-old woman. Continue reading
Rumors and theories about an acquisition of Volcano Corporation (NASDAQ: VOLC) had been circulating for quite some time: months, years even. The company seemed an obvious choice: it has an advanced intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) technology that leads the market, with Boston Scientific coming in second; it has a fractional flow reserve (FFR) wire that splits the market with St. Jude Medical; and recently Volcano gained FDA approval for its Instant Wave-Free Ratio (iFR) physiologic measurement product, a faster, cheaper potential alternative to FFR. Continue reading
Filed under ACC, Angiograms, Back to the Future, Business & Industry, Cardiac CT, Cost Effectiveness, FFR, Global Trends, History, Imaging, Intravascular Guidance, IVUS, OCT, Video
Almost two decades ago, interventional cardiology pioneer Dr. Spencer B. King III penned an article for Circulation titled, “Angioplasty From Bench to Bedside to Bench.” Dr. King’s article was a recounting of the history of the development of the angioplasty balloon catheter by his colleague at Emory University, Andreas Gruentzig.
This morning, the title of his article took on new meaning, as Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg entered the courtroom and took her seat, engaging in several complex legal arguments concerning mortgage loan officers, Facebook threats, and more. Continue reading
Dr. Frank J. Veith
Today was day one of the 41st Annual Veith Symposium in New York City. Started by Dr. Frank J. Veith, a pioneer in the field of endovascular approaches to vascular surgery, this five-day event covers the entire field of minimally invasive approaches to clinical situations that just a couple decades ago were the exclusive purview of open surgery.
The whole field of endovascular repair and intervention has grown exponentially since the first endovascular repair of an abdominal aortic aneurysm (EVAR) was performed by Dr. Juan Parodi in 1990, but it took quite some time to be accepted as a standard of care. Today the endovascular approach is the preferred procedure to repair an AAA and this is because of the advances in medical device design and manufacturing and the dedication of physicians to this less invasive non-surgical approach, physicians who will be attending this year’s Veith Symposium.
Today is Veterans Day in the U.S., honoring the soldiers who fought in the country’s wars. Last week was the VIVA 14 meeting, presenting the latest advances and techniques in endovascular repair and therapy of blood vessels.
These two events are actually closely aligned: the development and advances made in vascular surgery, and now endovascular therapies, were pioneered on the battlefield. Continue reading