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Celebrating a momentous milestone
  1. Felipe C Albuquerque
  1. Department of Neurosurgery, Barrow Neurological Institute, Phoenix, Arizona, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Felipe C Albuquerque, Department of Neurosurgery, Barrow Neurological Institute, Phoenix, AZ 85013, USA; Felipe.Albuquerque{at}

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A seismic event in neurointerventional history occurred on March 6, 1990. This was the day that the Guglielmi detachable coil (GDC) was first used in the treatment of a patient with a carotid cavernous fistula resulting from a ruptured cavernous aneurysm. This technology defined the era of modern neurointerventional surgery. The collision of clinical curiosity, engineering persistence, and industry support that occurred in that era created a cooperative model that has propelled our field.

Recently, the JNIS received an email from Dr Guido Guglielmi in which he reminded us of this auspicious date and provided us fascinating, as well as humorous, anecdotes of those heady days. He included several photos of his collaborators as well as drawings of the GDC prototype (figure 1). On the day of the 30th anniversary, Dr Guglielmi emailed from his home in Rome many of his collaborators to share his fond recollections and to thank them for their contributions to this monumental accomplishment. This anniversary occurred during the height of the COVID-19 crisis in Italy.

Figure 1

(A) Guglielmi and John Robert in the UCLA animal laboratory. (B–E) The 'compagni di avventura' or adventure companions: Guglielmi, Fernando Viñuela, Ivan Sepetka, and John Robert. (F) Guglielmi donning a 'classic' shirt at his home in Rome on the evening of the 30th anniversary of the …

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  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.