The history of interventional cardiology: cardiac catheterization, angioplasty, and related interventions

Am Heart J. 1995 Jan;129(1):146-72. doi: 10.1016/0002-8703(95)90055-1.


The histories of cardiac catheterization, angioplasty, and other catheter interventions are spectacular journeys marked by undeterred genius, serendipity, and the vindication of the scientific method. Cardiac catheterization began with Hales's 1711 equine biventricular catheterization, other early experimental catheterizations in the nineteenth century, and Forssmann's dramatic 1929 right-heart self-catheterization. Cournand, Richards, and others finished unlocking the right heart in the 1940s; Zimmerman, Cope, Ross, and others unlocked the left heart in the 1950s; and the coronary arteries were inadvertently unlocked by Sones in 1958, leading to the advent of percutaneous femoral coronary angiography by Judkins and by Amplatz in 1967. Dotter's accidental catheter recanalization of a peripheral artery in 1963 ushered in the era of intervention, crowned by Gruentzig's balloon angioplasty in the mid-1970s and leading to today's panoply of devices used percutaneously to revascularize the coronary arteries in a variety of clinical settings.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Portrait

MeSH terms

  • Angioplasty / history*
  • Angioplasty / instrumentation
  • Animals
  • Cardiac Catheterization / history*
  • Cardiac Catheterization / instrumentation
  • Cardiology / history*
  • Cardiology / instrumentation
  • History, 17th Century
  • History, 18th Century
  • History, 19th Century
  • History, 20th Century
  • Humans