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[en] A century after Viktor Hess' discovery of cosmic rays, balloon flights still play a central role in the investigation of cosmic rays over nearly their entire spectrum. We report on the current status of NASA balloon program for particle astrophysics, with particular emphasis on the very successful Antarctic long-duration balloon program, and new developments in the progress toward ultra-long duration balloons
[en] Ureteral stenting is a routine, minimally invasive procedure performed for relief of benign or malignant obstruction. In case of ureteral stenosis, to allow a correct insertion of the stent, a predilatation of the ureter stenosis with a conventional balloon catheter can be necessary. In exceptional cases, it can be difficult to advance an 7-8 Fr JJ-catheter over a tight resistant ureter stenosis following unsuccessful high-pressure balloon dilatation. In the present report, we describe two cases of resistant ureter stenosis successfully dilated by a cutting-balloon following the failure of high-pressure balloon dilatation, allowing a correct and uncomplicated antegrade stent insertion.
[en] A new detector for accurate localization of the cosmic gamma-burst sources is presented. The detector is intended for satellite applications, but balloon flights will be used in the development phase. The advantages and limitations of Arctic balloon flights are discussed based on a trial flight in August 1979. (orig.)
[en] To analyse the effectiveness of percutaneous treatment of central venous obstruction in patients undergoing hemodialysis. In 100 patients, 107 central venous strictures (56 subclavian (occlusion:21, stenosis:35) and 51 innominate (occlusion:23,stenosis:28)) were assessed, and 170 percutaneous angioplasty procedures were performed. Balloon dilation of the venous lumen was the preferred mode, but if dilation was incomplete we inserted a stent at the site of the stricture. Technical success, procedural complications and the long-term patency rate were evaluated, and the patency difference according to location and degree of stricture, the existence of DM, and any history of central catheter insertion was also determined. We inserted 52 stents in 170 procedures, in 157 (92.4%) of which initial technical success was achieved. Stent migration occurred in two cases and balloon rupture in three. The 6- and 12-month primary patency rates were 46.2% and 24.1%, respectively, and the mean patency rate was 8.5 months. The 1-, 2-and 3-year accumulative patency rates were 59.8%, 47.5% and 35.7%, respectively, and the mean patency rate was 23.5 months. Other than in the history of central catheter insertion, there were no statistically significant differences in patency rates (p=0.0128). In hemodialysis patients with a central venous stricture, percutaneous angioplasty is a safe and useful procedure, but to maintain long-term central venous patency, repeated interventions are required