Which technique or technology had a profound effect on your career?
I would like to mention two: the Excimer Laser technology and the proximal cerebral protection during carotid artery stenting.
In April, at the CX Symposium, you criticised the use of atherectomy devices. Can you explain why?
During my intervention at CX 2011, my criticism was not directed against an atherectomy device per se, but against the fact that for several years “data” have been continuously presented without a real scientific comparison. As long as we do not have data from randomised studies, the scientific level will remain poor and we cannot pursue reimbursement, at least in Europe. The 510K cannot determine the scientific value of a tool.
The Excimer Laser, science fiction fantasy or practical tool?
The Excimer Laser is also an atherectomy system, to ablate or dissolve the obstructing sclerotic material. In my experience, it is a very valuable tool, but again, we do not have evidence based on randomised studies.
What are your current areas of research?
My interest at the moment is dedicated to drug-eluting balloons. Our experience in subinguinal recanalisation is very exciting. However, again we have to wait for the validated data of ongoing studies before we can express a final recommendation for the different indications.
What is the most interesting paper you have come across recently?
It is a difficult question. Maybe the report on the CREST study linked to the latest guidelines for carotid artery stenting.
What advice would you give to young doctors interested in minimally invasive medicine?
My personal advice is to try to spend a relatively long period (at least one year) in a centre with a high volume of interventions. Young vascular surgeons should also spend some time in a coronary cath lab learning all the tricks for using the different diagnostic catheters and guidewires. Young cardiologists have to realise that peripheral interventions require a deep knowledge of the anatomy and pathophysiology of the different regions: e.g. tibial arteries have the same dimensions as coronary arteries, but they are completely different.
Outside of medicine, what are your interests?
My interests outside of medicine are manifold, I would like to mention two areas: classic music with particular interest for Gustav Mahler as composer and Claudio Abbado as conductor, and I am still active in sport such as alpine (downhill) and cross country skiing as well as golf.
Professor of Internal Medicine, Cardiology, Angiology Education
1959–1965 Medicine, Freie Universität (FU) of Berlin, Germany
1965 Medical state examination Germany
1965–1970 Doctorate, PhD habilitation in "Physiology and clinical Physiology"
1973 Italian state examination
1975 PhD, Habilitation of internal medicine
2006–Mar 2011 Chairman, Gruppo Villa Maria Endovascular, Cortignola, Italy
2004–present Clinical and Scientific Consulting, Clinica Montevergine, Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Mercogliano, Italy
2002–2006 Director, Department for Clinical and Interventional Angiology, Heart Center Leipzig, Germany
1965–1969 Scientific assistant, Institute of Physiology, Freie Universität of Berlin
1969 Guest assistant at the Physiological Institute of the University Göteborg, Sweden
1969–1971 Medical assistant at the Medical Clinic and Policlinic/Klinikum Steglitz of the FU Berlin
1971 Nomination as assistant professor at the FU Berlin
1972 Granting of Italian doctorate for medicine and surgery from the medical faculty of University Turin, Italy
1973 Approval as internist by the Ärztekammer Berlin
1976–1977 Head physician at the Heart Centre in Munich
1978 Nomination to the extraordinary professor at the FU Berlin
1979 Nomination as full professor for Internal Medicine and Cardio-Pulmonology
1980 Permanent head-deputy, Dept of Internal Medicine and Cardio-Pulmonology, FU Berlin
Mar–Oct 1984 Guest professor at the Mid American Heart Institution in Kansas City, USA
1986–1989 Medical director of the CVLA-project at the Laser-Medizin-Zentrum Berlin
1989–1996 Head of the Dept. Laser Angioplasty, Universitätsklinikum Rudolf Virchow/ Wedding, Zentralinstitut für Röntgendiagnostik
1996 – 1998 Director, Dept for Clinical and Interventional Angiology, Virchow Klinikum, Medizinische Fakultät der Humbold-Universität zu Berlin
1998–2001 Head of Cardiovascular Unit Villa Cherubini, Florence, Italy
1998–2001 Head of the Dept for Vascular Intervention Centre for Cardiology and Vascular Intervention, Prof Mathey/Prof Schofer & Partner, Hamburg, Germany