Cardiopulmonary catheterization


Columbia University College Of Physicians and Surgeons


Andre F. Cournand, MD, and Dickinson W. Richards, MD, Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons


In 1929, German scientist Werner Forssmann threaded a catheter to his own heart through a vein in his arm. Cournand and Richards of Columbia had established a cardiopulmonary lab at Bellevue Hospital, where they pioneered the use of catheterization to diagnose heart and lung diseases. In the years that followed, Cournand and Richards perfected this work, winning them, along with Forssmann, the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1956. Catheterization has become a mainstay of diagnostic and therapeutic care for patients with heart and lung conditions.