Andrew Nicolaides has become known internationally for his work on venous thromboembolism, noninvasive vascular investigations with particular emphasis on venous disease, the cardiac assessment of the arteriopath and more recently for his contribution in carotid plaque characterization, identification of patients at increased risk for stroke and stroke prevention.
Nicolaides’ name is associated with many “firsts”. He was the first to develop a venographic method that demonstrated the soleal veins consistently and the veins of the calf as the site where the majority of postoperative thrombi start. For this work he was awarded the Jacksonsonian prize of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1972. Prevention of such thrombi by avoiding stasis was achieved by the development of the sequential intermittent pneumatic compression device (SCI) by his team in the late 1970s now universally used as an established method in the prevention of venous thromboembolism.
In the 1980’s Nicolaides developed the first calibrated air-plethysmograph that could measure leg volume during exercise accurately. The measurements of ejection fraction of the calf muscle pump and reflux in ml/sec opened the door towards a better understanding and classification of chronic venous disease. His air-plethysmograph has provided valuable information of the circulation of the lower limbs of the astronauts in the Mir Space-station and is now in use in each module of the International Space-station.
Nicolaides has traveled extensively bringing back to the UK many of the teachings and techniques from his colleagues in the USA. He did the first external venous valvuloplasty in the UK in 1988. In the mid 1990’s he developed the now well established method of normalizing ultrasonic vascular images so that reproducible measurements of echodensity and texture can be made. He was the organizer and coordinator of the multicentre Asymptomatic Carotid Stenosis and Risk of stroke (ACSRS) prospective natural history study. On the basis of this study and the work on plaque characterization it has become possible to identify a high risk group of patients with asymptomatic carotid stenosis (5.5% stroke rate per year), but most important has been the identification of a low risk group with an annual stroke risk of less than 1%, that can be spared from unnecessary intervention. His current research is focused on the identification of biomarkers, both biochemical and genetic, that are associated with unstable atherosclerotic plaques.
He is Past-President of the International Union of Angiology and Past-President of the Section of Measurement in Medicine of the Royal Society of Medicine. He is now Chairman of the Board of the European Venous Forum Foundation. Nicolaides has received many awards and honorary memberships from scientific societies. He is Editor-in-Chief of International Angiology and is on the Editorial Board of many vascular journals.
While at Imperial he created and run an MSc course in Vascular Technology and Medicine which was unique in Europe attracting postgraduate students from all over the world and supervised over 40 PhD students. He has trained over 200 vascular surgeons who are practicing all over the world, ten of which are holding prestigious Chairs as Professors of Vascular Surgery.
He was made Archon Megas Referendarios, an honor bestowed to him by the Patriarch of Constantinople in 1994.
He is the co-author of over 400 original papers and editor of 14 books. He was Chairman of the Committee of the American Venous Forum that created the CEAP classification of chronic venous disease. He is the chairman of several international faculties that produce and regularly update guidelines on the “Investigation, prevention and management of chronic venous disease”, “Thrombophilia and Venous Thromboembolism” and “The prevention of Venous Thromboembolism”.
Based on a presentation made by Mr C. Kleanthous at the Hellenic Centre in London in 2004