The history of surgery for ischemic heart disease

Ann Thorac Surg. 1997 Mar;63(3):869-78. doi: 10.1016/s0003-4975(96)01375-6.


Myocardial revascularization had its beginnings in the early 1900s with extracardiac operations, such as sympathetic denervation and thyroid ablation. From there it evolved through neovascularization via pericardial poudrage and cardiopexy in the 1930s to 1950s, to mammary artery myocardial implantation in the 1940s and endarterectomy in the 1950s, to saphenous vein- and mammary artery-coronary artery bypass grafting in the 1960s. The history of the surgical treatment of myocardial ischemia is presented here in chronologic sequence to highlight the prescient thinking and the persistence of efforts, as well as the false starts and the rediscovery of old ideas, that have marked the development of this treatment.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Portrait

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • History, 20th Century
  • Humans
  • Myocardial Ischemia / history*
  • Myocardial Ischemia / surgery*
  • Myocardial Revascularization / history*