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A plumber for blood vessels

The beginnings of interventional radiology 

Ingo Zenger
Published on February 27, 2021

When the American radiologist Charles Dotter needed new catheters for his research in 1963, he speculated that, if none were available, physicians could build catheters themselves from guitar strings, VW speedometer cables, or a piece of intercom cable found in a wastebasket, for example.  

Charles Dotter

Charles Dotter, the “father” of interventional radiology
Source: University of Oregon Medical School (UOMS)

Treatment via 100,000 kilometers of vessels 

<p>Dotter decided to use a catheter to unblock it. After a few minutes, the foot was warm and blood was flowing all the way down to the toes again. A week later, the pain had disappeared – and three years down the line, just before her death, Shaw famously said she was “still walking on [her] own two feet.”</p>
Die Basis der Katheter-Therapie: herkömmlichen Dotter-Kathetern  Quelle: Maria Schlumpf-Walker

Ingo Zenger
Ingo Zenger
By Ingo Zenger

Technology journalist and author at the Siemens Healthineers Historical Institute