HOME

TheInfoList




Andreas Roland Grüntzig (25 June 1939 – 27 October 1985) was a German radiologist and cardiologist, with foundational interest, training and research in
epidemiology Epidemiology is the study and analysis of the distribution (who, when, and where), patterns and risk factor, determinants of health and disease conditions in defined populations. It is a cornerstone of public health, and shapes policy decisions ...
and
angiology Angiology (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approxi ...
. He is known for being the first to develop successful balloon
angioplasty Angioplasty, also known as balloon angioplasty and percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA), is a minimally invasive Minimally invasive procedures (also known as minimally invasive surgeries) encompass surgical Surgery ''cheirourgikē' ...
for expanding
lumens The lumen (symbol: lm) is the SI derived unit SI derived units are units of measurement derived from the seven SI base unit, base units specified by the International System of Units (SI). They are either dimensionless quantity, dimensionless ...
of narrowed
arteries An artery (plural arteries) () is a blood vessel that takes blood away from the heart to one or more parts of the body (tissues, lungs, brain etc.). Most arteries carry oxygenated blood; the two exceptions are the pulmonary arteries, pulmonary ...

arteries
. He was born in
Dresden Dresden (, ; wen, label=Sorbian languages, Upper and Lower Sorbian, Drježdźany) is the capital city of the Germany, German States of Germany, state of Saxony and its second most populous city, after Leipzig. It is the List of cities in German ...

Dresden
.


Early life

Andreas Roland Gruentzig was born in Dresden, Germany on June 25, 1939, shortly before the start of
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
. His father, Dr. Wilmar Gruentzig (1902–1945), was a secondary-school science teacher with a Ph.D. in chemistry. Wilmar was conscripted into the meteorological service of the
Luftwaffe The ''Luftwaffe'' () was the aerial-warfare branch of the German ''Wehrmacht The ''Wehrmacht'' (, ) was the unified armed forces of Nazi Germany from 1935 to 1945. It consisted of the German Army (1935–1945), ''Heer'' (army), th ...
during World War II. He presumably died during the war. His mother was Charlotta (née Zeugner) Gruentzig (1907-1955) and a teacher. His older brother was Johannes Gruentzig. After his birth in Dresden, in 1940 the family moved to the house of a relative in the small town of
Rochlitz Rochlitz (; hsb, Rochlica) is a major district town (Große Kreisstadt ''Große Kreisstadt'' (, "major district town") is a term in the municipal law Municipal law is the national, domestic, or internal law of a sovereign Sovereign is a ti ...

Rochlitz
in western
Saxony Saxony (german: Sachsen ; Upper Saxon Upper Saxon (german: Obersächsisch, ; ) is an East Central German East Central German (german: Ostmitteldeutsch) is the eastern, non-Franconian languages, Franconian Central German language, part o ...

Saxony
. After the war, Charlotta and her sons moved to
Leipzig Leipzig (, ; Upper Saxon: ) is the most populous city in the Germany, German States of Germany, state of Saxony. With a population of 605,407 inhabitants as of 2021 (1.1 million residents in the larger urban zone), it surpasses the Saxon c ...

Leipzig
along with her sister Alfreda Beier and her mother. In 1950, Charlotta moved her family to
Buenos Aires Buenos Aires ( or ; ), officially Autonomous City of Buenos Aires, is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or cap ...

Buenos Aires
,
Argentina Argentina (), officially the Argentine Republic ( es, link=no, República Argentina), is a country located mostly in the southern half of South America South America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasse ...

Argentina
to live with her husband's brother and wife. Unhappy and homesick Charlotta and her two sons moved back to Leipzig two years later. Gruentzig and his brother Johannes entered high school at the
Thomasschule zu Leipzig St. Thomas School, Leipzig (german: Thomasschule zu Leipzig; la, Schola Thomana Lipsiensis) is a co-educational Mixed-sex education, also known as mixed-gender education, co-education, or coeducation (abbreviated to co-ed or coed), is a syste ...
. Gruetzig graduated from the Thomasschule in 1957 with highest honors. In 1956, his brother Johannes fled across the border to
Hanover Hanover (; german: Hannover ; nds, Hannober) is the capital and largest city of the German States of Germany, state of Lower Saxony. Its 534,049 (2020) inhabitants make it the List of cities in Germany by population, 13th-largest city in Germa ...
. Gruentzig followed a year later. Gruentzig studied at Bunsen Gymnasium while his brother enrolled as a medical student at
Heidelberg University } Heidelberg University, officially the Ruprecht Karl University of Heidelberg, (german: Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg; la, Universitas Ruperto Carola Heidelbergensis) is a public In public relations Public relations (PR) is ...

Heidelberg University
. Gruentzig began his medical studies at Heidelberg University in the fall of 1958 subsequently graduating on April 8, 1964. He then rotated through a series of internships in
Mannheim Mannheim (; Palatine GermanPalatine German may refer to: * Palatine German language * German Palatines See also *Palatinate (region) *Palatinate (disambiguation) {{disambig Language and nationality disambiguation pages ...: or ), officiall ...

Mannheim
,
Hanover Hanover (; german: Hannover ; nds, Hannober) is the capital and largest city of the German States of Germany, state of Lower Saxony. Its 534,049 (2020) inhabitants make it the List of cities in Germany by population, 13th-largest city in Germa ...
,
Bad Harzburg Bad Harzburg (; Eastphalian dialect, Eastphalian: ''Bad Harzborch'') is a spa town in central Germany, in the Goslar (district), Goslar district of Lower Saxony. It lies on the northern edge of the Harz mountains and is a recognised saltwater spa ...
, and
Ludwigshafen Ludwigshafen, officially Ludwigshafen am Rhein (, meaning ''Ludwig's Port upon Rhine''), is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., ...
. His studies included internal medicine and vascular surgery. In 1966 Gruentzig returned to Heidelberg University to take on a staff assistant job at the university's Institute for Social and Occupational Medicine investigating risk factors for cardiovascular disease, chronic bronchitis, and liver degeneration. In 1967, he departed for a six-month paid fellowship to study epidemiology at the University of London School of Hygiene. In 1968 he returned to Heidelberg. Early in 1968 he left for a six-month assistant doctor's job in
Darmstadt Darmstadt (, also , , ) is a city in the States of Germany, state of Hesse in Germany, located in the southern part of the Frankfurt Rhine Main Area, Rhine-Main-Area (Frankfurt Metropolitan Region). Darmstadt has around 160,000 inhabitants, m ...

Darmstadt
at the Max Ratschow Clinic. In November 1969, Gruentzig and his future wife Michaela moved to
Zurich
Zurich
where he worked in the department of Angiology at the
University Hospital of Zurich A university () is an institution Institutions, according to Samuel P. Huntington Samuel Phillips Huntington (April 18, 1927 – December 24, 2008) was an American political scientist, adviser and academic. He spent more than half a ce ...
.


Angioplasties

In the late 1960s, Gruentzig learned of the angioplasty procedure developed by
Charles Dotter Charles Theodore Dotter (14 June 1920 – 15 February 1985) was a pioneering US Blood vessel, vascular radiologist who is credited with developing interventional radiology. Dotter, with his trainee Melvin Judkins, Dr Melvin P. Judkins, described ...
, an American, at a lecture in
Frankfurt Frankfurt, officially Frankfurt am Main (; Hessian dialects, Hessian: , "Franks, Frank ford (crossing), ford on the Main (river), Main"; french: Francfort-sur-le-Main), is the most populous city in the States of Germany, German state of Hess ...

Frankfurt
, Germany. Encountering bureaucratic resistance in Germany to his exploration of angioplasty techniques, Gruentzig moved to
Switzerland , french: Suisse(sse), it, svizzero/svizzera or , rm, Svizzer/Svizra , government_type = Federalism, Federal semi-direct democracy under an assembly-independent Directorial system, directorial republic , leader_title1 = Fe ...

Switzerland
in 1969. Gruentzig's first successful coronary angioplasty treatment on an awake human was performed on 16 September 1977, in Zurich, Switzerland. He expanded a short, about 3 mm, non-branching section of the
Left Anterior Descending The left anterior descending artery (also LAD, anterior interventricular branch of left coronary artery, or anterior descending branch) is a branch of the left coronary artery The left coronary artery (abbreviated LCA) is a coronary artery that ar ...
(LAD)
artery An artery (plural arteries) () is a blood vessel The blood vessels are the components of the circulatory system The circulatory system, also called the cardiovascular system or the vascular system, is an organ system that permits bloo ...

artery
(the front branch of the left coronary artery) which supplies the front wall and tip of the
heart The heart is a muscular MUSCULAR (DS-200B), located in the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use ...

heart
(see
coronary circulation Coronary circulation is the circulation of blood in the blood vessel The blood vessels are the components of the circulatory system The circulatory system, also called the cardiovascular system or the vascular system, is an organ system t ...
) which had a high grade
stenosis A stenosis (from Ancient Greek στενός, "narrow") is an abnormal narrowing in a blood vessel or other tubular Organ (anatomy), organ or structure such as foramina and canals. It is also sometimes called a stricture (as in urethral stricture) ...
, about 80%, of the lumen. Gruentzig presented the results of his first four angioplasty cases at the 1977
American Heart Association The American Heart Association (AHA) is a nonprofit organization in the United States that funds cardiovascular medical research, educates consumers on healthy living and fosters appropriate Heart, cardiac care in an effort to reduce disability and ...
(AHA) meeting, which led to widespread acknowledgement of his pioneering work. The immediate results of this treatment, despite using only a carefully ''kitchen built'' catheter (crude by current standards), were quite good. The patient became and remained angina free after this treatment. This initial patient's result was electively rechecked, by angiography at
Emory University Emory University is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, after an absence of nearly two dec ...
, on the 10-year anniversary of the initial treatment. The LAD narrowing, after this 10-year timespan, remained almost perfectly expanded. There was minimal residual narrowing, probably less than 10%, as seen in similar angle and multiple different views comparing with photographs of the original, 10 years earlier, before and after results. The excellent results of this initial and subsequent patients were critical to the rapid development and growing acceptance of the angioplasty treatment option. Gruentzig recognized multiple important issues early: (a) the treatment would not be readily accepted by most physicians, especially bypass surgeons, (b) it could easily lead to bad outcomes without great care in selection of which patients/
lesions A lesion is any damage or abnormal change in the tissue of an organism, usually caused by disease A disease is a particular abnormal condition that negatively affects the structure A structure is an arrangement and organization of int ...
to treat and of the treating physicians, and (c) it required careful teaching of the technique and its potential difficulties and pitfalls to other physicians, so as to proactively reduce the occurrence of poor results. Understanding these issues and tireless effort on his part are widely recognized in cardiology for being of fundamental importance to the ultimate success of the technique. By about 1990, lumen
stenosis A stenosis (from Ancient Greek στενός, "narrow") is an abnormal narrowing in a blood vessel or other tubular Organ (anatomy), organ or structure such as foramina and canals. It is also sometimes called a stricture (as in urethral stricture) ...
of the
coronary arteries The coronary arteries are the arterial blood vessels of coronary circulation Coronary circulation is the circulation of blood in the blood vessels that supply the cardiac muscle, heart muscle (myocardium). Coronary arteries supply oxygen saturat ...
was more commonly treated by the angioplasty technique than by
coronary artery bypass surgery Coronary artery bypass surgery, also known as coronary artery bypass graft (CABG, pronounced "cabbage") surgery, and colloquially heart bypass or bypass surgery, is a surgical procedure to restore normal blood flow to an obstructed coronary ar ...
. This treatment approach is now referred to as plain old balloon angioplasty (POBA). In the 1990s, further major improvements, both immediate and especially long term became possible with better understanding of disease as a result of
clinical research trials
clinical research trials
using
IVUS Intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) is a medical imaging Medical imaging is the technique and process of imaging Imaging is the representation or reproduction of an object's form; especially a visual representation (i.e., the formation of an ...
and the development of
stent In medicine Medicine is the science Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity, awareness, or understanding of someone or something, such as facts ( descriptive knowledge) ...

stent
s to mechanically support POBA results. Since the later 1990s, most angioplasties also involve a stent over the angioplasty balloon; the balloon is hydraulically expanded, typically at 6–25 atmospheres of internal pressure, then deflated and removed while the stent remains behind to mechanically support the lumen remaining in the new, more open shape as created by the hydraulically expanded balloon. Gruentzig's success remains a major breakthrough and great contribution to the field of medicine in demonstrating that doctors could work inside of the arteries safely, without the need for open surgery. By utilizing the arterial circulation as a "therapeutic highway", many types of devices and drugs can now be delivered directly to the heart, kidneys, carotid arteries, brain, legs and aorta without the need for major surgery and general anesthesia.


Personal life

Gruentzig fathered an out-of-wedlock daughter named Katrin Hoffman in 1967. Around the same time, Gruentzig met Michaela (née Seebrunner) Gruentzig. They were married in the summer of 1970 at Michaela's Bavarian family home in Bad Reichenhall. They subsequently had a daughter Sonja Meret Gruentzig who was born in September 1976. Gruentzig also had a cardiac catheterization done on himself by his fellows Hal 'Whit' Whitworth and Gary S. Roubin in 1985. Gruentzig dressed himself 20 minutes after the procedure was done, headed back to his office and resumed his work while applying pressure to the puncture site with his hand in his pocket. He felt that if "knowing the coronary anatomy via angiography was good for his patients it would be good for himself".


Death

Gruentzig, an instrument-rated pilot, and his wife died in an airplane crash in their
Beechcraft Baron The Beechcraft Baron is a light Light or visible light is electromagnetic radiation within the portion of the electromagnetic spectrum that is visual perception, perceived by the human eye. Visible light is usually defined as having wave ...
in
Forsyth, Georgia Forsyth is a city in and the county seat A county seat is an administrative center, seat of government, or capital city of a county or Parish (administrative division), civil parish. The term is used in Canada, China, Romania, Hungary and the Uni ...
, on October 27, 1985. They are both buried in
Riverside Cemetery (Macon, Georgia) Riverside Cemetery is a historic rural cemetery in Macon, Georgia established in 1887. It is approximately in size and privately owned. Over 18,000 people are interred here. History Riverside Cemetery Corporation was founded in 1887 to create t ...
.


See also

*
History of invasive and interventional cardiology The history of invasive and interventional cardiology is complex, with multiple groups working independently on similar technologies. Invasive and interventional cardiology Cardiology (from Ancient Greek, Greek ''kardiā'', "heart" and ''wikt ...


References


External links


Andreas Grüntzig and Angioplasty (includes video clips)


Further reading

* Monagan, David and David O. Williams. ''Journey into the Heart: A Tale of Pioneering Doctors and Their Race to Transform Cardiovascular Medicine.'' New York: Gotham Books, February 1, 2007. * Beck, Andreas: ''Andreas Grüntzig. Eine Idee verändert die Medizin'', Clio, Konstanz 1999, . * Meier, Bernhard: ''Andreas Roland Grüntzig, the man.'' European Heart Journal, Volume 38, Issue 28, 21 July 2017, Pages 2161–2163
DOI/10.1093
{{DEFAULTSORT:Gruentzig, Andreas Roland 1939 births 1985 deaths Accidental deaths in Georgia (U.S. state) Aviators killed in aviation accidents or incidents in the United States German cardiologists German radiologists Victims of aviation accidents or incidents in 1985