Category Archives: Innovators

Angioplasty at 55

Charles Dotter. MD

Charles Dotter. MD

Angioplasty was born 55 years ago today when Dr. Charles T. Dotter, a radiologist in Portland, Oregon, performed the first angioplasty. But it wasn’t in the heart; it was in the leg.

An 82-year-old woman was suffering from great pain in her left foot because of blocked circulation in her leg. Her toes had become gangrenous and there was an non-healing ulcer. Amputation was recommended by the physicians at Oregon Health Sciences University, but the woman refused.

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The First EVAR (Endovascular Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Repair)

Dr. Frank J. Veith

Today was day one of the 45th 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.
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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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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

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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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

Medicare Approves Drug-Coated Balloons for Outpatient Leg Angioplasty

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

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Filed under Back to the Future, Endovascular, FDA, Health Insurance, History, Innovators, Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD), Video