Kantrowitz, Adrian (kănˈtrəwĭtsˌ) [key], 1918–2008, American surgeon, b. New York City, grad. New York Univ. (1940). The son of a physician, Kantrowitz received his M.D. from the Long Island College of Medicine (1943), and after World War II studied cardiovascular physiology under Carl John Wiggers at Case Western Univ. During a career that spanned six decades, he worked to aid severely ill heart patients, using both surgery and more than 20 artificial devices. He devised (with Alan Lerrick) a plastic heart valve (1954), a heart-lung machine (1958), an internal pacemaker (1961–62), and (with Tetsuzo Akutsu) an auxiliary left ventricle (1964), or ventricular assist device (see under heart, artificial). In 1966 he performed the first implantation of a partial mechanical heart in a human, and on Dec. 6, 1967, the second human heart transplant, which was also the first performed in the United States. He also produced pioneering motion pictures taken inside the living heart.
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