Despite the rising tide of opposition to his findings, Dr. Forssmann pushed on. His subsequent experiments with rabbits and dogs (and ultimately himself) proved that catheterization angiography could not be achieved with simply sodium iodide. He developed the use of groin catheterization to reach the inferior vena cava through the femoral veins. Dr. Forssmann’s further experiments in aortography proved unfruitful. By this time, he had decided to stop his self-experimentation, having reached his limits with exploration. Instead he decided to seek work as a local urologist in a small German farming community.
In 1956, Forssmann was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine, which he shared with André Cournand, MD, and Dickinson W. Richards, MD, who were affiliated with Columbia University, New York City. When offered a job to head a German cardiovascular institute, Dr. Forssmann declined, citing his lack of knowledge about advancements in the field since his last self-experimentation in 1935. TH
- Altman, Lawrence K. Who Goes First: The Story of Self-Experimentation in Medicine. New York: Random House; 1987.