State of the art: 40 years of percutaneous cardiac intervention

EuroIntervention Journal

There are few areas in medicine where the development of an entire field is perceived to be so closely associated with one individual. Andreas Roland Grüntzig was born in Dresden, Germany, ten weeks before the outbreak of the Second World War on 25 June 1939. Learn more about his influences on percutaneous cardiac intervention and angioplasty.

In the second half of 1976, the company subsequently known as Schneider Medintag began the commercial manufacture of the prototype balloon catheters. The final preparation for the first percutaneous coronary intervention was the proof of principle performance of the first dilatation of a coronary artery in a patient undergoing bypass surgery. This was performed through collaboration with Richard Myler in San Francisco on 9 May 1977. Meanwhile, the search continued for the first patient with a suitable lesion who was willing to undergo angioplasty. Back in Zürich, Bernhard Meier introduced Grüntzig to Adolf Bachmann – a 38-year-old man with debilitating angina and an accessible, focal proximal stenosis of the left anterior descending artery.

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Robert A. Byrne, Davide Capodanno, Darren Mylotte and Patrick W. Serruys