Vote for the Most Important NEJM Article (1970-1979)

Posted by • May 24th, 2012

What was the most important medical advance reported in NEJM between 1970 and 1979?  There are seven days left in this round.  Vote now!

In a 1970 article, Drs. Swan, Ganz and colleagues described a new device for measuring pressures in the right side of the heart and pulmonary capillary wedge. Until then, rigid catheters were used but required fluoroscopic guidance and technical skill.  They tested this prototype catheter in 100 seriously ill patients.

The obstetrician Arthur Herbst wrote an article in 1971 describing the discovery of eight young women with vaginal adenocarcinoma, with an apparent association of this rare malignancy with maternal use of diethylstilbestrol (DES). At the time, DES, a synthetic nonsteroidal estrogen, was being used to help prevent adverse pregnancy outcomes in women with previous miscarriages.

In 1973, the first report of polyp removal using a colonoscope introduced a procedure to reduce cancer risk during screening.

In a 1976 article, Koenig and colleagues were the first to demonstrate the utility of glycosylated hemoglobin A1c concentration as a monitor of the degree of serum glucose control in patients with diabetes.

A seminal article in 1978 was the first to show the antihypertensive effect of an oral ACE inhibitor, then known simply as “SQ 14225.” At the time, it was known that inhibiting ACE lowered blood pressure, but the only available agent had to be given intravenously.

Next month, we’ll be voting on articles published between 1980 and 1989.  We’ll have a run-off of all of the winning articles at the end of the year.

Previous winners include the beginning of ether anesthesia, the first description of platelets, the beginning of bone marrow transplantation, and studies on an attenuated measles vaccine.

2 Responses to “Vote for the Most Important NEJM Article (1970-1979)”

  1. Ricardo Guraieb says:

    Dear colleagues
    I vote for the article by Dr. Koenig and his colleagues about the discovery of the importance of glycosilated hemoglobin A1c, as the most important one in the 1970s. The reason is that since that discovery many millions of diabetic patients have been helped to tighten the control of their disease. This was one major step towards helping patients to achieve a better control of their blood glucose levels and ultimately lessen the microvascular damage to every organ. The test is now done as part of the routine management of all patients, and it is done in almost all laboratories and hospitals across the world. So this test helped to better help and to continue helping a devastating and very prevalent disease.
    Thank you very much. Dr. Ricardo Guraieb Pediatrician. American British Cowdray Hospital. Mexico City

  2. Dr.IBRAHIM says:

    all are important articles ,but the most important one is the discovery of ACE-I..