SCAI'S Hildner Lecture traces progress through 30 years of interventional cardiology

entional cardiology never stands still. It is a profession that reinvents itself over and over at an increasing pace, as new devices are developed and new techniques perfected. "This field has evolved progressively and dramatically over the last 30 years, through iterative problem solving and evidence-based medicine," Dr. Baim said. "It is likely to evolve that much or more over the next 10, 20, or 30 years."

Today interventional cardiologists treat diseased arteries not just in the heart, but from top to toe, including the carotid arteries that supply blood to the brain, the renal arteries that supply blood to the kidneys, and the network of vessels throughout the legs and feet.

Interventional cardiologists are also beginning to offer new treatment options to patients with valvular heart disease, replacing diseased aortic valves and repairing leaky mitral valves by threading a catheter into the heart. They are repairing holes in the walls that divide the right and left sides of the heart with catheter-mounted "patches." They are investigating new ways to identify and treat inflamed plaques in the coronary arteries with an eye to preventing heart attacks.

"The progress is not over. Its continuing every day, and interventional cardiologists need to stay plugged into this evolution and participate in it," Dr. Baim said. "No one can afford to be a fly in amber at any point in this evolution."


Contact: Kathy Boyd David
Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions

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