Dr. Melvin Paul Judkins

Melvin Paul Judkins

Loma Linda Medical Center - Portland, United States

Melvin Paul Judkins (1923-1985)

Percutaneous coronary angiography


Melvin Paul Judkins came from a modest social background and worked to pay for his education. He was handy with tools and quickly fascinated by all that was mechanical and electronic. Initially a family physician, he decided at 40 years of age to make a career change and took a residency position in Portland in the radiology department of Phiroze Billimoria and Charles Dotter. Along with Charles Dotter, he contributed to the development of percutaneous dilatation. He introduced selective coronary arteriography in Portland after training with Mason Sones at the Cleveland Clinic.


He found the Mason Sones’ brachial access technique, which required a surgical approach using general anesthesia, to be unwieldy. To reduce X-ray exposure for both the technician and the patient, he developed a new percutaneous femoral technique, using secure Teflon-coated J-shaped guide wires. Having excellent representation of the relationship between the aorta and coronary arteries from 3D anatomical images, he created various forms of catheters to facilitate catheterization of coronary ostia.


The fact that most selective coronary angiographies continue to be performed through the percutaneous approach clearly shows that his dream came true.