When Nusbaum et al1 merged diagnostic arteriography and vasoconstrictive therapy for the treatment of bleeding varices, they opened an exciting avenue of therapeutic investigation. Diagnostic arteriography was just coming of age, and the bolus intravenous (IV) administration of vasopressin was dying, largely because of its systemic side effects.2-4 The technique they proposed, administration of a constant, low-dosage infusion of vasopressin into a specific splanchnic artery, was designed to constrict only the vessel supplying the bleeding site, thus avoiding the systemic effects of IV administration.
This technique requires sophisticated equipment and adventurous angiographers. Their work and the studies that followed were important in spreading the gospel of angiography. The number of angiographic training programs increased to meet the new demand. Well-trained, skilled angiographers and the equipment necessary to ply their trade were no longer limited to university centers but were soon found in hospitals at all levels. Everywhere catheters