• V. O. Björk


Thanks to the untiring, ongoing research, there is a step-by-step, slow but steady improvement of the handling of cardiovascular diseases. The most outstanding advance has lately been in the field of intracardiac diagnosis. Forty years ago, I introduced complete left heart catheterization utilizing an 18-cm-long needle above the 9th rib, three finger breadths to the right of the median line, and, after entering the left atrium, I pushed a catheter through the needle, the left atrium, the left ventricle, and out into the aorta. On withdrawal I got all the pressures on the left side of the heart. The first open heart operation in Europe, by Crafoord in 1954, was for a left atrial myxoma, diagnosed with this method when I injected the contrast medium directly into the left atrium through the needle and clearly outlined the tumor. Today, I am impressed by the noninvasive echo-Doppler technique visualizing intracardiac shunts and valvular insufficiency and estimating the valvular gradients.


Left Atrium Open Heart Operation Mechanical Heart Valve Diseased Mitral Valve Artificial Heart 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1995

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  • V. O. Björk

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