In 1960, the new Clinic laboratory at St. Marys opened for cardiovascular and angiographic studies. The new laboratory provided enlarged facilities for cardiac catheterization and permitted an integration of studies by radiologists and cardiologists in the field of angiocardiography. Radiologists also used the facilities of the new laboratory to extend their studies of the extracardial vascular system.
New equipment not previously available was installed in the laboratory, including tables (one for each patient study room) especially designed for angiocardiography, two angiographic film changes which function in essence as cameras, and a device to program the changers.
The tables featured moveable tops, which was necessary because in the fluoroscopic equipment, the x-ray tube or source of radiation and the fluoroscopic screen were in fixed position. The table top, motor driven, moved longitudinally and transversely to bring the patient into proper position. The base of the table included connections to physiologic recording equipment and outlets for oxygen and vacuum. The tables were constructed to provide maximal protection from radiation to the patient and the medical personnel in the room.
Each film changer held thirty 14” x 14” films which automatically advanced into position for exposure, then dropped into a cassette for transport to the developer. The film changers had a maximum speed of six films per second. The x-ray operator could “program” the film changer on the control device to select the number and speed of film exposure desired. Thus, as many as 60 films could be exposed during a single angiocardiogram.
The new laboratory provided excellent facilities for application of available knowledge and opportunity to add to what is known of the pathologic conditions present in diseases of the heart and circulatory system.