Updated on May 15, 2017

To answer the question of how balloon angioplasty was invented, it is necessary to know how the idea of using a balloon to dilate a coronary artery was successfully tested, and how this intuition opened up a new era in the treatment of coronary artery disease. We will review the following three aspects:

The origins of arterial angioplasty prior to 1974, when Andreas Grüntzig performed the first arterial dilatations with his home-made balloon catheter. The birth of coronary angioplasty (1974-77) resulting in the first successful human coronary angioplasty on September 16, 1977, and the recognition of the revolutionary contribution of Andreas Grüntzig at the Miami American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions in November 1977. The development of coronary angioplasty corresponding to the first “glorious” decade (1977-86). The “Saga of the Balloon” ended when Jacques Puel implanted the first human coronary stent on March 28, 1986. Without knowing it, he changed coronary angioplasty for both the short- and the long-term. The short-term would not be “a long steady river”, but this is another story…
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