Monthly Archives: January 2011

OCT Wars: St. Jude Versus the Volcano

Axsun laser module and OCT imageOptical Coherence Tomography (OCT) is an exciting new imaging technique that is being used to assess the interior anatomy of coronary arteries during and after angioplasty and stent placement. (Read our exclusive interview with Dr. Giulio Guagliumi for more information about how OCT can aid in measuring the healing of stents.)

This technology is just now beginning to bridge the divide between research tool and clinical aide — for example, OCT can show high resolution pictures of stent struts and show whether they are covered or not. So the future for OCT imaging is definitely of major interest. Continue reading

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Filed under Intravascular Guidance, Media Coverage, OCT

From Angioplasty and Stents to Aortic Valve Replacement

Andreas Gruentzig34 years ago, Andreas Gruentzig performed the first coronary angioplasty. Rather than cutting open the chest, sawing through the sternum and sewing a bypass conduit (harvested from the leg or internal mammary artery) into the coronary artery, he elegantly threaded a balloon catheter to the blockage through a small incision in the femoral (groin) artery, in an awake patient. He then inflated the balloon, compressing the plaque against the arterial wall and opening the artery. The procedure was a total success and his first patient, Adolph Bachmann, is alive and well today! (see video clip: ” The 1st Angioplasty”.)

But more importantly than just inventing angioplasty, Gruentzig invented a method for treating patients non-surgically, from the inside-out! What Gruentzig said was: Continue reading

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Filed under Clinical Trials / Studies, FDA, History, Innovators

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Stent Graft Athlete

Kevin One of the things about working at Angioplasty.Org that warms my heart (pun intended) is connecting with patients around the world. Our Patient Forum gets posts from the U.S., U.K., Pakistan, Poland, India, Iran, China, Chile and…North Carolina. That’s where Kevin Morgan lives and where he publishes his new blog,

All too often, our Forum serves as a kind of complaint department — where patients write in about problems they are having after stents, angioplasty, angiograms, etc. They usually find our Forum through search engines like Google (e.g. look up “Stents Plavix Aspirin“). And these posts are important because on our Forum people can share stories and discover they are not alone. Continue reading

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Filed under Patient Empowerment, Patients, Social Networking, Video

Philadelphia Transradial Intervention Program: Take a TRIP

PhiladephiaJust a reminder to you interventional cardiologists, cath lab nurses and technologists who are interested in learning how to do angiograms, angioplasty and stents from the wrist — next Saturday, January 15, is SCAI’s second transradial program, being held in Philadelphia with an “all-star” faculty of transradial experts (see “Transradial Wrist Angioplasty Training Coast-to-Coast in January 2011“).

The first program in Boston sold out and this one is filling up fast. The TRIP course is being led by Program Co-chairs Kimberly Skelding, M.D., FSCAI and Samir B. Pancholy, M.D., FSCAI, and features “a dynamic mix of didactic lectures, case reviews and simulation training.” Continue reading

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Filed under Meetings & Conferences, Transradial Approach

Angioplasty and Stent Use Cut in Half — Sort of…

Scissors and StentA lost story this past couple of weeks has been an “admission” by the American Heart Association that the number of angioplasties performed in the United States is actually half of what the AHA has been saying all these years.

In their most recent 193-page Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics 2011 Update, published on December 15, the AHA now states that 622,000 percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI) were performed in 2007 (the most recent period for which stats have been compiled). Previously the AHA reported an annual volume of around 1.3 million — double the number. Continue reading

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Filed under COURAGE, Media Coverage, Stent