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Surgical Treatment of Angina Pectoris: A Fifty Year Retrospective from Baylor/Methodist

Authors:

Michael E. DeBakey ,

From Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center, Houston, Texas, US
About Michael E.
M.D.
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Walter S. Henly

From Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center, Houston, Texas, US
About Walter S.
M.D.
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Abstract

In 1961, we described the surgical treatment of coronary artery disease when surgeons were only beginning to realize that the mechanical blockages might be amenable to operation.1 This report reviews briefly the experimental and clinical approaches to the surgical treatment of coronary occlusive disease, including the role of the Baylor/Methodist investigators.

In 1768, William Heberden2 first described the syndrome of angina pectoris, stating that "... the sense of strangling, and anxiety with which it is attended, may make it not improperly be called angina pectoris." Edward Jenner3 was the first to correlate angina and coronary disease. His patient, John Hunter, died from calcification of the coronary arteries in 1793, as shown by autopsy. In a letter to Heberden, Jenner3 hypothesized a correlation between Hunter’s anginal attacks and the pathologic findings in the coronary arteries. Hunter’s angina attacks worsened, and although he did not know the cause, he described its manifestations and noted the emotional component: "My life is in the hands of any rascal who chooses to annoy me," and, indeed, he died during an angry quarrel with his colleagues at St. George’s Hospital about teaching programs.4

In 1876, Hammer5 made the first clinical diagnosis of coronary artery occlusive disease in a patient with angina, confirmed by autopsy. Despite these early observations, the role of angina pectoris in coronary occlusive disease was established only after Herrick’s report in 1912,6 which provided histologic and electrocardiographic evidence to support this association.

How to Cite: 1. DeBakey ME, Henly WS. Surgical Treatment of Angina Pectoris: A Fifty Year Retrospective from Baylor/Methodist. Methodist DeBakey Cardiovascular Journal. 2008;4(2):1-7. DOI: http://doi.org/10.14797/mdcvj.119
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Published on 01 Jan 2008.
Peer Reviewed

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