Sven-Ivar Seldinger

Sven-Ivar Seldinger (1921 – 1998) was a Swedish Radiologist.

Most well remembered for developing the Seldinger Technique a technique for safe percutaneous access to vessels and hollow organs that is widely used today.

Using the technique, he pioneered a number of procedures including percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography.

He is regarded as a forefather of interventional radiology

  • Born 19 April 1921 Mora, Sweden
  • Family renown for making the famous Mora clocks.
  • 1940-1948 studied medicine at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm
  • Karolinska hospital where he started his residence in Radiology and stayed until 1966.
  • During this period he was introduced to angiography and developed the Seldinger technique as we know it today.
  • After a short stint in academia and teaching in Gothenburg he returned to his home town Mora as head of the Department of Radiology
  • 1984 – Honorary Doctor of the Faculty of Medicine, Uppsala University
  • 1986 – Retired from medical practice.
  • Died 21 February 1998 Dalecarlia, Sweden

Medical Eponyms
Seldinger Technique (1953)

An over-wire technique of catheter insertion to obtain safe percutaneous access to vessels and hollow organs.

Sven Ivar Seldinger published his pioneering technique for achieving percutaneous vascular access in Acta Radiologica in 1953. Seldinger introduced the use of a flexible, round-ended wire to facilitate catheter insertion, was a substantial refinement to the previously accepted practice that had been described by Fariñas in 1941

Originally Seldinger modified a technique devised by 1956 Nobel prize winner André Frédéric Cournand who developed cardiac catheterization. Following further failed modification using a piano wire to stiffen the tube, Seldinger was left with the three essential components; a needle, a wire and polyethylene tube. In April 1952 he was hit by a

sudden attack of common sense and knew what to do: needle in, guide-wire in through the needle, needle out, catheter in over the wire and finally removal of the guide wire

Seldinger 1952

Seldinger used his new technique to pioneer several new procedures including localization of parathyroid adenoma by arteriography; selective renal angiography; puncture of bile ducts for cholangiography and puncture of the liver and spleen for portal venography.

Major Publications


Eponymous terms

eponymictionary CTA


the person behind the name

Resident Medical Officer currently working in Emergency Department at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital. Pianist and avid Golfer  | LinkedIn |

Emergency physician MA (Oxon) MBChB (Edin) FACEM FFSEM with a passion for rugby; medical history; medical education; and asynchronous learning #FOAMed evangelist. Co-founder and CTO of Life in the Fast lane | Eponyms | Books | Twitter |

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