Angioplasty

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Angioplasty is the technique of mechanically widening a narrowed or obstructed blood vessel, typically as a result of atherosclerosis. An empty and collapsed balloon on a guide wire, known as a balloon catheter, is passed into the narrowed locations and then inflated to a fixed size using water pressures some 75 to 500 times normal blood pressure (6 to 20 atmospheres). The balloon crushes the fatty deposits, so opening up the blood vessel to improved flow, and the balloon is then collapsed and withdrawn.

The word is composed of the medical combining forms of the Greek words αγγειος aggeîos meaning "vessel" and πλαστός plastós meaning "formed" or "moulded". Angioplasty has come to include all manner of vascular interventions typically performed in a minimally invasive or percutaneous method.

Contents

History

Angioplasty was initially described by interventional radiologist Charles Dotter in 1964. [1] Dr. Dotter pioneered modern medicine with the invention of angioplasty and the catheter-delivered stent, which were first used to treat peripheral arterial disease. On January 16, 1964, Dotter percutaneously dilated a tight, localized stenosis of the superficial femoral artery (SFA) in an 82-year-old woman with painful leg ischemia and gangrene who refused leg amputation. After successful dilation of the stenosis with a guide wire and coaxial Teflon catheters, the circulation returned to her leg. The dilated artery stayed open until her death from pneumonia two and a half years later. [2] Charles Dotter is commonly known as the "Father of Interventional Radiology" and was nominated for the Nobel Prize in medicine in 1978.

The first coronary angioplasty on an awake patient was performed by German cardiologist Andreas Gruentzig in September 1977. [3]

Causes of Coronary Artery Disease

Blockages in the arteries may be caused by hypertension, diabetes, sedentary lifestyle, smoking, high cholesterol levels, diets high in saturated fats, and cardiovascular disease. Removing blockages is done with angioplasty.[4]

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