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J Vet Intern Med. 2002 Jan-Feb;16(1):116-7.

The 1st balloon valvuloplasty: an historical note.

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Section of Cardiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia 19104, USA.


Balloon valvuloplasty (BV) is currently the treatment of choice for pulmonic stenosis in humans and dogs. Before permission was obtained to attempt the 1st BV in a child in 1982, the safety and efficacy of the procedure were tested in 1980 in an English Bulldog with spontaneous pulmonic stenosis. A fatal outcome would have caused indefinite postponement of BV in human patients, a procedure that currently benefits over 25,000 patients a year worldwide. This article describes the initial test procedure and its fortunate outcome in spite of unrecognized coronary anomalies in the bulldog. A small balloon was used in the test procedure, and fatal disruption of the anomalous left coronary artery (CA) did not occur as it has in several bulldogs since that time.

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