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American Heart Association Research Milestones – 1960’s


Justin Sullivan, Getty Images
Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

1960s Research Milestones

1960: Dr. William Chardack reports surgery for a completely implanted pacemaker. He is funded by the Erie County Division of the New York State Affiliate.

Dr. Albert Starr performs the first long-term successful mitral valve replacement with a caged ball valve, ushering in a new era of valve replacement. He was supported in developing the artificial heart valve by the Oregon Affiliate and assisted by engineer Lowell Edwards.

Dr. Brian Hoffman publishes a new account of the specialized heart tissues controlling cardiac excitability. He received national research program support.

1961: Drs. William Kouwenhoven, James Jude and Guy Knickerbocker, with support from the Maryland Affiliate, report in the Journal of the American Medical Association on the application of external cardiac massage (CPR) on 118 patients.

Dr. Julius Jacobsen, with funding from the Vermont Affiliate, begins performing surgery with the aid of a microscope. Microsurgery ultimately leads to changes in coronary artery surgery, plastic surgery, neurosurgery, gynecology, limb reimplantation, and orthopedic and tumor surgery.

1964: Dr. Richard Ross, aided by the Maryland Affiliate, measures myocardial blood flow using radioactive xenon. This improves diagnosis of patients with myocardial disease.

1966: In a project funded by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Heart Association, Dr. William Rashkind develops transeptal balloon septostomy, a procedure to correct septal defects.

Dr. Maurice Sokolow, who received national funding, announces the results of a 20-year study showing hypertension can decrease life-expectancy and that higher average daily blood pressure increases the complications of hypertension.

Dr. William Elliott shows that isoproterenol improves cardiac output in selected patients, providing a new means of treatment. He received national research program support.

1968: With national support, Dr. William Conner employs cholestyramine to lower cholesterol in the blood.

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