International Day for Interventional Cardiology Date in the current year: September 16, 2024

International Day for Interventional Cardiology The International Day for Interventional Cardiology is a United Nations observance held annually on September 16. It was created to highlight the importance of intervention cardiology for lowering preventable death rates.

Interventional cardiology is a subdiscipline of cardiology dealing with the catheter-based treatment of structural heart diseases. It is a relatively new branch of cardiology that developed in the second half of the 20th century. The person credited with being the father of interventional cardiology is Andreas Grüntzig, a German cardiologist and radiologist who developed and performed the first successful balloon angioplasty while working at the University Hospital of Zurich.

Angioplasty (a procedure used to widen narrowed or obstructed blood vessels) was first described by the American radiologist Charles Theodore Dotter and his trainee Melvin Judkins in 1964. Grüntzig first heard about the procedure at a lecture in Frankfurt and became determined to develop its practical application. Having encountered bureaucratic resistance in his native Germany, Grüntzig moved to Switzerland, where he had the opportunity to explore angioplasty techniques at the University Hospital of Zurich.

Grüntzig performed the first successful angioplasty treatment on an awake patient in September 1977. After performing three more successful procedures, he presented his work to the American Heart Association, leading to the widespread recognition of angioplasty and the development of interventional cardiology.

Angioplasty is arguably the best known interventional cardiology procedure, but it is far from being the only one. Other minimally invasive procedures that involve the use of catheters include percutaneous coronary intervention (PIC), heart valve repair (valvuloplasty), congenital heart defect correction, percutaneous valve repair, percutaneous valve replacement, and coronary trombectomy.

Interventional cardiology can be used to diagnose and treat various cardiovascular conditions such as arrhythmia, angina, cardiomyopathy, congenital heart defects, heart failure, heart attack (myocardial infarction), heart valve disorders, and myocarditis (heart inflammation). Its main benefits include less pain and scars, a shorter recovery period and lower cost than traditional heart surgery. In addition, interventional cardiology is more suitable for infants and children with heart diseases.

The United Nations General Assembly designated September 16 as the International Day for Interventional Cardiology in 2022. The date was chosen to commemorate the first successful coronary angioplasty on an awake patient performed by Andreas Grüntzig on September 16, 1977.

The main goal of the International Day for Interventional Cardiology is to raise public awareness of angioplasty and other interventional cardiology procedures, and highlight their importance for improving health and the quality of life, increasing life expectancy, and lowering preventable death rates. The awareness campaign is spearheaded by the World Health Organization.

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