Guidewires and Angioplasty Balloons: The Primer

  • Vijay S. Ramanath
  • Craig A. Thompson


The year 1963 marked one of the greatest achievements in cardiovascular medicine when Dr. Charles Dotter recanalized an occluded right common iliac artery percutaneously by crossing the catheter across the artery in a retrograde fashion. Quickly realizing the therapeutic potential of this technique, he constructed balloon-mounted dilating catheters to restore flow to occluded or stenotic vessels in the peripheral circulation. This was followed by the first successfully performed percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) in man by Dr. Andreas Gruentzig in 1977. In this procedure, no coronary guidewires or balloons were used. Rather, a preshaped guiding catheter was placed at the ostium of the coronary artery through which a dilatation catheter was advanced across the stenotic lesion and subsequently inflated. It was not until 1982 when the first coronary angioplasty wire was developed by Simpson et al. From this time forward, coronary guidewires and balloons have rapidly developed into highly sophisticated devices with continual advancements in the technology being made each year. This chapter will discuss the basic construction of angioplasty guidewires and balloons to provide the reader a fundamental understanding of how and why these devices are designed.


Angioplasty Balloon Tactile Feedback Wire Core Hydrophobic Coating Abbott Vascular 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medicine, Texas A & M Health Science CenterCollege of MedicineBryanUSA
  2. 2.Cardiovascular Catheterization and InterventionYale New Haven HospitalNew HavenUSA
  3. 3.Cardiology Section, Department of Medicine, Invasive Cardiology and Vascular MedicineYale University School of MedicineNew HavenUSA

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