Today, approximately two-thirds of patients with coronary artery disease are candidates for angioplasty, stenting and other catheter-based treatments. The treatments are successful in 98 percent of patients, and major complications occur in only 1.5 percent of cases. Just one patient in 1,000 needs emergency bypass surgery.
The 30-year legacy of interventional cardiology also includes pioneering evidence-based medicine -- the discipline of recording and evaluating the outcomes of various procedures to identify those that produce the best results for patients. "Interventional cardiology has led the medical field in taking an evidence-based approach and establishing best practice guidelines that enable cardiologists around the world to know what procedures yield the best patient outcomes," said Dr. Bailey.
Dr. Gruentzig tracked patient outcomes by hand, keeping notes on a chalkboard to record results and analyze trends, according to Dr. Bailey. "Compared with the computer tracking and reporting we do today, his methods may seem like using an abacus. But they laid the foundation for the widespread use of evidence-based medicine.
"Over the years, interventional cardiology has faced challenges," said Dr. Bailey. "In each case, we have responded with innovation, and then rigorously applied the discipline of evidence-based medicine to ensure the safety and efficacy of our solutions."
Refinements in catheters and balloons have been continuous. But dramatically improved patient outcomes are attributed to two other major advancements:
-- The bare metal stent, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration in 1994, was designed to address the problem of sudden
collapse of an artery following angioplasty. Arteries that
|SOURCE The Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and|
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