January 29, 2015
It is difficult to briefly summarize the field of interventional cardiology today. From the time of its inception in 1977, interventional cardiologists could offer angioplasty to select patients with coronary disease with only the few options of balloon catheters based on limited studies and mostly anecdotal experience. Fast-forward to 2015 and it is clear that the knowledge base and expertise required to truly understand interventional cardiology have exploded in the manner of Moore’s law for computers.
In addition to coronary atherosclerosis, interventional cardiologists are now consulted to assess transcatheter options for cardiac assist devices, peripheral arterial and venous disease, valvular heart disease, thromboembolic venous disorders, congenital heart disease and lesions of exceeding complexity, such as chronic total occlusions, to name just a few. As a field, interventional cardiology has created one of the most prolific stockpiles of evidence-based medicine, with large randomized trials, registries and quality improvement measures continually altering our daily practice.