40 years of angioplasty – remembering patients and pioneers
Less than a century ago, no doctor would dare to touch a human heart. Only five decades ago, the basic therapy for a heart attack was to lie down and bear it.
In their 2012 paper, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Elizabeth Nabel and Eugene Braunwald document the remarkable progress made in cardiovascular medicine in the late 20 and early 21 century. Highlighting the dramatic decline in cardiovascular mortality over the last 60 years – from rates of more than 400 deaths per 100,000 population to approximately one quarter of that – the authors cite contributions in the field of acute cardiac care, novel pharmaceutical agents and medical device technology. Accompanying the rapid decline in mortality, however, the contributions made by pioneers in catheter diagnostics, myocardial revascularsation and percutaneous cardiac intervention stand out. Now, in 2017, commemorating the 40 anniversary of the first coronary angioplasty of Andreas Grüntzig, we are provided with an opportunity to reflect specifically on the progress made in catheter diagnostics and interventions. Find out more ...