Irene Lang receives Andreas Grüntzig Award of the European Society of Cardiology

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In Amsterdam, Irene Lang, Deputy Head of the Clinical Division of Cardiology and the Department of Medicine II at MedUni Vienna, was awarded the prestigious Andreas Grüntzig Prize.

Andreas Grüntzig is the founder of percutaneous coronary angioplasty (PCI). In 1977, he performed the first PCI of a proximal LAD - with great success, as this coronary lesion was still open even after ten years. In the following years, stents were developed for the treatment of the intima-media dissection inevitable by balloon dilatation, which, as is well known, were subsequently developed significantly.

Irene Lang has received the Andreas Grüntzig Award for her achievement in establishing Balloon Pulmonary Angioplasty (BPA) in Europe. BPA is used to treat chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH), a rare condition characterized by fibrotic occlusions of the pulmonary artery. For several years, Irene Lang, together with a Japanese research group led by Hiromi Matsubara, (Okayama, Japan) has been modifying this technology for patients in Europe and consistently further developing the knowledge gained.

It was recognized that with consecutive, very careful dilatation of the pulmonary arteries, a significant reduction in pulmonary vascular resistance can be achieved. This allows large segments of the lung to be reconnected to the blood supply and consequently participate in active oxygen exchange again. This leads to a drastic reduction in symptoms: there is a significant improvement in physical performance in almost all patients, which goes far beyond the effects of drug therapy with conventional vasodilators.

"The award of the Andreas Grüntzig Prize is a special tribute to the further development of BPA, not only in Europe but worldwide," Christian Hengstenberg, Head of the Division of Cardiology and the Department of Medicine II at MedUni Vienna, congratulates the award winner. "These merits and the consistent international and multidisciplinary collaboration have led to a new therapeutic option for patients with CTEPH, who previously had not only a very poor quality of life, but also an extremely poor life expectancy."