By Dr Ananya Mandal, MD
The term cardiology is derived from the Greek words “cardia,” which refers to the heart and “logy” meaning “study of.” Cardiology is a branch of medicine that concerns diseases and disorders of the heart, which may range from congenital defects through to acquired heart diseases such as coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure.
Physicians who specialize in cardiology are called cardiologists and they are responsible for the medical management of various heart diseases. Cardiac surgeons are the specialist physicians who perform surgical procedures to correct heart disorders.
Some of the major milestones in the discipline of cardiology are listed below:
1628 The circulation of blood was described by an English Physician William Harvey.
1706 A French anatomy professor, Raymond de Vieussens, described the structure of the heart's chambers and vessels.
1733 Blood pressure was first measured by an English clergyman and scientist called Stephen Hales.
1816 A French physician, Rene Laennec, invented the stethoscope.
1903 A Dutch physiologist Willem Einthoven, developed the electrocardiograph or ECG, a vital instrument used to measure the electrical activity of the heart and diagnose heart abnormalities.
1912 An American physician, James Herric, described atherosclerosis – one of the most common diseases of the heart.
1938 Robert Gross, an American surgeon, performed the first heart surgery
1951 The first artificial heart valve was developed by Charles Hufnagel.
1952 An American surgeon called Floyd John Lewis performed the first open heart surgery
1967 Christian Barnard, a South African surgeon, performed the first whole heart transplant
1982 An American surgeon called Willem DeVries implanted a permanent artificial heart designed by Robert Jarvik, into a patient.
Reviewed by Sally Robertson, BSc
Last Updated: Feb 6, 2014