When Sones inadvertently performed the first coronary angiogram in 1958,1 he could not anticipate the profound future implications
of that event. Four years later, when he reported his experience with more
than 1000 procedures,2 the technique was still
considered experimental and was dismissed by many leading authorities in cardiovascular
medicine. Yet, the introduction of coronary angiography started a new era,
leading to the rapid development of coronary artery bypass graft surgery and
percutaneous revascularization for the routine management of ischemic heart
disease. Four decades later, more than 2 million angiographic procedures are
performed annually in the United States alone.3 Although
invasive coronary angiography clearly has led to improved outcomes, it also
has contributed to greater expenses in health care cost,3 limiting
its potential to become more widely available. This has led to a growing interest
in the scientific community in the development of less expensive, noninvasive
alternative methods for evaluating coronary anatomy.
Garcia MJ. Noninvasive Coronary AngiographyHype or New Paradigm?. JAMA. 2005;293(20):2531–2533. doi:10.1001/jama.293.20.2531
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