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Our Research History

  • 1933: Claude Beck, MD, performed the first successful removal of a heart tumor.
  • 1935: Claude Beck, MD, performed the first operation for coronary artery disease.
  • 1947: Claude Beck, MD, performed the first successful defibrillation of a human heart.

    An early defibrillator
    Early defibrillator
  • 1950: William Holden, MD, performed the first successful femoro-popliteal bypass (from the thigh to the lower leg), using a section of the patient’s own vein.
  • 1952: Claude Beck, MD, helped develop cardiopulmonary resuscitation techniques and played an instrumental role in promoting their use.

    Claude Beck, MD
    Claude Beck, MD (right)
  • 1955: Claude Beck, MD, and Walter Pritchard, MD, performed the first successful reversal of a fatal heart attack outside of an operating room, with open heart massage.

  • 1969: Jay Ankeney, MD, performed the first successful off-pump open-heart procedure, which later became the basis for minimally invasive heart surgery.

  • 1969: The role of cholesterol in blood vessel disease was developed by William Insull, MD.

  • 1972: A bypass heart surgery method using blood vessel grafts without stopping the heart was perfected by Jay Ankeney, MD.

    Jay Ankeney, MD, performing surgery circa 1972
    Jay Ankeney, MD, performing surgery
  • 1972: Herman K. Hellerstein, MD, the “Father of Cardiac Rehabilitation”, makes monumental contributions to the understanding of physiology and exercise, establishing the modern era of post-myocardial infarction rehabilitation.
  • 1978: Research technique to record accurate cardiac output was developed by Herman K. Hellerstein, MD, Anthony Bacevice, MD, and Peter Katona, MD.

  • 1981: Pioneering embolization to cure high blood pressure was performed by Joseph P. LiPuma, MD, Ralph Alfidi, MD, and Ian Dresner, MD.

  • 2002: The reporting of an ALLHAT (Antihypertensive and Lipid-Lowering Treatment to Prevent Heart Attack Trial) study by Jackson Wright, MD, showed that thiazide-type diuretics should be considered first for drug therapy in patients with hypertension.

  • 2002: Albert L. Waldo, MD, PhD, publishes landmark AFFIRM trial, advancing treatment guidelines and improving outcomes in patients with atrial fibrillation.

    Dr. Albert Waldo
    Dr. Albert Waldo
  • 2005: First adult stem cell procedure in Ohio for heart disease performed at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center.

  • 2012: Marco Costa, MD, PhD, and Daniel Simon, MD, helped facilitate the opening of the first cardiac catheterization laboratory in Uganda at Mulago Hospital, Makerere University College of Health Sciences, Kampala, Uganda.

  • 2013: Marco Costa, MD, PhD, leads national trial for the Parachute™ ventricular partitioning device that partitions the antero-apical aneurysm, restoring optimal left ventricular volume and geometry in patients with heart failure following anterior myocardial infarction.

    Parachute device
    Parachute device
  • 2014: Jackson Wright Jr., MD, PhD, authors new results from the Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT). The study showed that maintaining a new, lower target for systolic blood pressure, the top number in a blood pressure reading, results in lower heart attack, stroke and death rates.

    Dr. Jackson Wright with Dr. Daniel Simon
    Dr. Jackson Wright with Dr. Daniel Simon
  • 2014: Guilherme Attizzani, MD, performs the first “valve-in-ring” procedure in the United States for severe mitral regurgitation patients with recurrent mitral disease whose risk of a repeat open surgery is prohibitively high.

  • 2014: Soon J. Park, MD, performs the first durable biventricular device procedure in Ohio, successfully implanting HeartWare® devices in the left and right ventricles of a patient with fulminant heart failure.

    Dr. Soon Park in surgery
    Dr. Soon Park in surgery
  • 2014: University Hospitals Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute physicians are first in the U.S. to perform, CT-derived fractional flow reserve (FFR-CT), a revolutionary noninvasive imaging tool designed to improve the accuracy of coronary artery disease diagnosis by combining anatomy with function.

    HeartFlow FFR-CT
    HeartFlow FFR-CT
  • 2017: A team of physicians at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital perform the first successful fetal aortic valvuloplasty in Ohio on a 29-week-old fetus.

  • 2018: Mehdi Shishehbor, DO, MPH, PhD, performs the first compassionate care use of Limflow™ procedure in the United States to save the limb of a patient with previous below knee amputation on the contralateral side.

    Dr. Mehdi Shishehbor during LimFlow procedure
    Dr. Mehdi Shishehbor during LimFlow procedure
  • 2021: Seminal paper published by Sanjay Rajagopalan, MD, detailing progress on the understanding of environmental contributors to cardiovascular disease and the impact of pollution on climate and health.