What is significant about the 30th anniversary of interventional cardiology?
30th anniversary provides an opportunity to assess the impact of using PCI to treat coronary artery disease and to look ahead to what’s next.
- Looking back over the past three decades, interventional cardiology has contributed to significantly improved heart attack survival rates. Thirty years ago, the chance of dying from a first heart attack was one in four. Today, more than 95 percent of heart attack victims survive. Interventional cardiology literally stops heart attacks in their tracks by restoring blood flow to the heart.
- Also important, interventional procedures have been credited with improved quality of life after a heart attack. Thirty years ago, heart attack survivors were likely to have a low quality of life – often unable to work, play sports or do other favorite activities. Today, most heart attack survivors are able to return to normal activities within a few days.
- Looking ahead, the techniques of interventional cardiology are inspiring therapies to treat other parts of the body, such as arterial disease of the kidneys and limbs. One of the most exciting is the use of angioplasty and stents to minimize the damage from – or stop – stroke by treating the carotid arteries that supply blood to the brain.
- New developments in stent technology, such as a new bio-absorbable version that dissolves once the artery heals, also promise to provide patients and physicians with greater benefits.