Evolution of Imaging

Ever since the creation of the X-ray machine by Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen, the imaging technologies and tools have evolved and gained a crucial role in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases.

Learn more about the importance of imaging in interventional cardiology.

50th Scientific Sessions of the AHA, Miami November 1977

Between the date of Andreas Gruentzig’s abstract submission and the date of the oral presentation, four patients had been dilated percutaneously. Which was the best option? Stick to the text of the abstract or speak about his human experience? Andreas Grüntzig chose the second option. While he was presenting a slide on the first 4 patients, reporting the angiographic success of the fourth with the left main stenosis, something unusual and incredible happened. The audience, stunned, started to applaud in the middle of his talk, to such a degree that Andreas Grüntzig had trouble finishing the presentation.

Mason Sones went to Andreas Grüntzig at the end of the presentation and asked him to see the movies of this unbelievable accomplishment. Andreas Grüntzig invited him to view the films of the 4 coronary angioplasties on a "Tagarno cine machine" located at a booth in the convention center exhibit hall.

Tagarno cine machine

Tagarno cine machine

The Tagarno Machine

The Tagarno machine is one of the most effective "Cine Analyzers" used to view and study X-ray and other radiograph negative images. The Cine Analyzers use cine film and have a rotating prism projection system which allows the image to be greatly magnified. Film studies may be transported with a continuous variable speed of up to 80 frames per second and can be viewed in either forward or reverse at variable rates of speed. Their principal function was to permit lengthy studies of single-frame still images.  

Viewing the film on a frame-by-frame basis allows a physician to recognize vessels and arteries and to measure their narrowing. However, the film must be viewed while in motion to see the flow of liquid through them. The Tagarno machine was used in the days of early angioplasty when many other imaging modalities had not yet been invented.

The Cine Analyzers utilize either a 12 or 16 facet rotating prism to project 35mm x-ray cine film onto the projection hood, the wall (by removing the projection hood), or, in some models, by using an optional projection screen or an optional rear projection unit. They use a 150 or 250 watt halogen lamp or a 300 watt xenon short arc lamp to project the cine images. It was invented by a Danish film-maker named Tage Arnø.