Search for: "cardiovascular disease" - 995 articles found

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Online platform for professionals

Cardiology webinars take a glimpse into the future of the field

In continuation of their healthcare webinar series, Canon Medical announces the Online Cardiology Days. From Oct 26 to Nov 4, world-renowned cardiology experts take a deep-dive into professional education and explore state-of-the-art imaging and clinical management insights during a series of interactive lectures, practical teaching sessions and real life clinical case discussions.

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Cardiology research

Transcatheter aortic valve replacement: new insights on life expectancy

Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have examined long-term outcomes in patients who received pacemaker implantations after transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) through their groin. The result showed no significant difference in mortality for the patients with pacemakers compared to those without. The study is published in the journal JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions.

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Discussing benefits and flaws

AI in cardiology: a marriage made in heaven – or hell?

The role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) – one of the most divisive issues in cardiology – was debated during a session of the European Society of Cardiology annual congress. Two leading experts argued the pros and cons of its use, exploring its benefits and advantages to cardiac care, as well as highlighting the pitfalls and shortcomings of AI, while underlining the need for clear guidelines…

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Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

New predictive biomarkers for ALS identified

Some blood lipid biomarkers linked to cardiovascular disease risk are also associated with a lower risk of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) suggest the findings of a large epidemiology study. ALS is the commonest form of motor neuron disease - a progressive nervous system disease that destroys nerve cells responsible for voluntary movement such as walking and talking.

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Medication combination

'4-in-1' blood pressure pill shows great promise

The first large-scale, long-term trial of a new strategy using combinations of very low-doses in one capsule, has demonstrated significantly improved control of high blood pressure - the leading cause of heart attack and stroke. This first large-scale, randomised controlled clinical trial of starting this novel combination blood pressure medication brought blood pressure under control in 80…

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Cardiology advances

Digital solutions for heart failure patients

Triage HF Plus, highlighted in the BCS conference session ‘Digital Innovation in Cardiology - What's new?’ is a digital heart failure care project that uses a customised algorithm to detect early signs of deterioration in patients with implanted devices. During her presentation ‘Digital solutions to identify worsening heart failure’, consultant cardiologist Dr Fozia Ahmed discussed the…

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Molecular targeting for better results

Emerging novel tracers for cardiovascular imaging

Molecular imaging, guided by novel tracers, is emerging as an important diagnostic and therapeutic tool in cardiovascular medicine. Delegates at ICNC-CT, the online International Conference on Nuclear Cardiology and Cardiac CT, also heard that cardiology can learn from fields such as oncology and neurology that have already made important advances in this area. Professor Frank Bengel, who is…

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SPECT/CT, MPI and more

The value of hybrid imaging in the cardiac arena

Combining imaging modalities is helping to achieve better diagnostic and therapeutic outcomes for heart patients. The topic, discussed in detail by experts at the ICNC-CT online International Conference on Nuclear Cardiology and Cardiac CT, examined hybrid/fusion imaging as the standard in cardiovascular imaging, and its value in clinical practice. Professor Terrence Ruddy spoke about the role of…

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Predictive plaques

Using AI for personalised prediction of heart attack

An AI-led device to assess coronary CT angiographs has been designed to assess cardiac plaque that may lead to myocardial infarction (MI). In his presentation ‘Vascular inflammation and cardiovascular risk assessment using coronary CT angiography’ (CCTA), Charambalos Antoniades, Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Oxford, presented the research team’s findings during…

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Risk reduction, rehabilitation

The role of AI in preventive cardiology

Artificial Intelligence and Big Data in cardiovascular risk reduction and cardiac rehabilitation are offering new opportunities for increased diagnostic accuracy and more personalised exercise prescription. Experts believe it can be harnessed to design tools to enable cardiologists to make better decisions, and have more confidence in the decision-making process. The topic was featured at ESC…

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Diagnosis, prognosis, prediction

AI offers advances in cardiovascular imaging

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is providing numerous opportunities across clinical care in the field of cardiovascular imaging. While challenges remain, AI is being applied in terms of diagnosis and prognosis, defining cardiovascular imaging pathways, and image acquisition and analysis. It can also help cardiologists predict which patients may do well, or which treatments are best applied to those…

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Cardiovascular disease prevention

Why a good night's sleep can save your heart

In a new study, researchers at Lund University and Uppsala University have seen a clear connection between how long a person sleeps and a number of biomarkers linked to cardiometabolic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. “With greater knowledge of the actual mechanisms of disease development, the possibilities for a more specific and targeted treatment increase”, says…

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Coronavirus medication research

Lab-grown beating heart cells could identify Covid drugs

Scientists have grown beating heart cells to attempt to identify drugs to prevent Covid-19-related heart damage. Concerns over the extent of cardiac damage among Covid patients emerged during the coronavirus pandemic and there are also suggestions that the impact on cardiomyocytes could contribute to the symptoms of long Covid. To explore these issues, a research team at the University of…

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Flexibility and freedom of movement

C-arm adds accuracy to cardiovascular interventions

Alongside the worldwide increase in longevity, inevitably with chronic health conditions rising, cardiovascular procedures and OR utilisation have surged. Thus the efficient and safe performance of surgeries is even more important. The intraoperative use of mobile C-arms increases accuracy, improving clinical outcomes, which can significantly reduce revision rates and thus overall healthcare…

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Clinical cardiovascular trials

Women still underrepresented in CVD research

Women remain underrepresented in cardiovascular clinical trials despite guidelines and legal requirements developed almost 30 years ago to ensure broader inclusivity. This is according to a report from the American College of Cardiology Cardiovascular Disease in Women Committee published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. This lack of representation can limit availability of…

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Cardiology research

Dynamic heart model gives insight into cardiac disease progression

Efforts to understand cardiac disease progression and develop therapeutic tissues that can repair the human heart are just a few areas of focus for the Feinberg research group at Carnegie Mellon University. The group's latest dynamic model, created in partnership with collaborators in the Netherlands, mimics physiologic loads on engineering heart muscle tissues, yielding an unprecedented view of…

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Cardiology research

Strong connection between heart health and pregnancy complications

A study of more than 18 million pregnancies has shown a strong and graded relationship between women’s heart health and pregnancy outcomes. The research is published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, a journal of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). The researchers examined the presence of four risk factors for cardiovascular disease in women prior to pregnancy: unhealthy…

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Gender issues

Promoting equity for women in cardiology in the UK

More women should become cardiologists. Male dominance and negative and sexist comments must end. Recognising these problems, the British Cardiovascular Society (BCS) aims to create a national network of mentors and female role models and provide resources and support to this cause. In a powerful session ‘Women in Cardiology – Building a Healthy Culture’ at the BCS online congress,…

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Cardiology and sports

Risk of heart rhythm problems may be more than doubled for athletes

Athletes appear to be almost two and half times more likely than non-athletes to experience irregular heart rhythms (atrial fibrillation), suggests new research. In addition, those athletes involved in mixed sports such as football, rugby or netball appear to have the highest risk when compared with athletes taking part in endurance sports such as Nordic skiing, orienteering or rowing.

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Co-development research program

Improving stroke treatment with robotics

Medical robotics company Robocath and Rennes University Hospital announce the launch of a co-development research program using robotics to improve treatment for stroke victims. With the support of Philips France, this program will be implemented over the next four years. It will focus on the use of robotics in treating strokes, the second most common cause of death globally after myocardial…

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Fighting cancer together

New interdisciplinary approaches to intervention & immuno-oncology

Over recent years interventional oncology (IO), as a subspecialty of interventional radiology, has become a standard component of many cancer therapies. The broad range of minimally invasive methods – and their results – are often comparable to those of traditional approaches, such as surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy, e.g. with regard to hepatocellular cancer (HCC), oligometastatic…

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Cardiovascular disease prevention

An ultrasound sensor to measure pulse wave velocity and blood pressure

Nanoelectronics and digital technologies company Imec presents a proof-of-concept for determining arterial stiffness, a risk marker for cardiovascular diseases such as stroke and heart failure, and monitoring blood pressure. Imec’s approach uses an ultrasound sensor to measure the central pulse wave velocity. Measuring pulse wave velocity closer to the heart is also a more reliable proxy for…

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Cardiology research

Statins could reduce risk of cancer among heart failure patients

Statin use among patients with heart failure is associated with a 16% lower risk of developing cancer compared with non-statin users during an average of four years of follow-up. This is according to new research published in the European Heart Journal. In addition, the study found that statin use was associated with a 26% reduced risk of dying from cancer over the same period.

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Disease of smallest heart blood vessels

Microvascular angina: the global health problem you've never heard of

For the first time, a prospective, international study has shown that chest pain caused by problems with the very small vessels supplying blood to the heart is an important health problem that increases the risk of heart attacks, stroke and death due to cardiovascular reasons. The study, which is published in the European Heart Journal, recruited 686 patients from 14 institutions in seven…

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Combining common risk factors

Deep learning enables dual screening for cancer and CVD

Heart disease and cancer are the leading causes of death in the United States, and it’s increasingly understood that they share common risk factors, including tobacco use, diet, blood pressure, and obesity. Thus, a diagnostic tool that could screen for cardiovascular disease while a patient is already being screened for cancer has the potential to expedite a diagnosis, accelerate treatment, and…

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Cardiology & urbanisation

Health and the city: how urban design can promote heart health

Cities harbour a dangerous cocktail of environmental stressors which politicians must tackle to save lives and preserve health. That’s the conclusion of a paper published in European Heart Journal, a journal of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). “By 2050, three in four people will live in cities, where up to 80% of energy is consumed and 70% of greenhouse gases are emitted,” said…

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Cardiac care to go

Wearables in cardiology: from activity monitoring to research support

Activity monitors via phones and bracelets help to assess exercise but experts question which device may really stimulate activity in cardiovascular patients, and which might be best for research? Three types of activity monitors exist: uniaxial, which measure acceleration in one plane; biaxial and triaxial, which measure acceleration in two or three planes; and multisensory activity monitors,…

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AI in cardiology

Machine learning accurately predicts cardiac arrest risk

A branch of artificial intelligence (AI), called machine learning, can accurately predict the risk of an out of hospital cardiac arrest--when the heart suddenly stops beating--using a combination of timing and weather data, finds research published online in the journal Heart. Machine learning is the study of computer algorithms, and based on the idea that systems can learn from data and identify…

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Vital imaging

Study: contrast MRI after a heart attack could increase survival

A new study from the University of Surrey and University College London has revealed that treatment for heart attacks could be improved thanks to a novel method of evaluating heart function using contrast-based MRI scans. According to the British Heart Foundation, heart and circulatory diseases cause more than a quarter (27 per cent) of all deaths in the UK, which equates to more than 160,000…

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LVAD patients monitoring

5G and AI: Telemedicine support for chronic heart failure patients

A new research project will embrace the combination of 5G telecommunications technology and AI to offer continuous remote monitoring to seriously ill heart failure patients. An increasing number of chronic heart failure patients are receiving Left Ventricular Assist Devices (LVADs) to help them live with their condition, but physicians acknowledge the need to effectively monitor them.

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Merging modalities

AI combines ECG and X-ray to diagnose arrhythmic disorders

Kobe University Hospital’s Dr. Makoto Nishimori and Project Assistant Professor Kunihiko Kiuchi et al. (of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine) have developed an AI that uses multiple kinds of test data to predict the location of surplus pathways in the heart called ‘accessory pathways’, which cause the heart to beat irregularly. In this study, the…

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After overcoming a Corona infection

Covid-19: Study on long-term antibody protection

Does overcoming a SARS-CoV-2 infection protect against reinfection? The “Rhineland Study”, a population-based study conducted by DZNE in the Bonn area, is now providing new findings in this regard. Blood samples taken last year indicate that an important component of immunity – the levels of specific neutralizing antibodies against the coronavirus - had dropped in most of the study…

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POC Troponin I analysis

Expediting the diagnosis of heart attack

Siemens Healthineers announced the company's Atellica VTLi Patient-Side Immunoassay Analyzer has obtained CE mark and is expected to be available later this spring. The Atellica VTLi analyzer provides lab standard, high-sensitivity cardiac troponin I (hs-cTnI) test results to clinicians in eight minutes using a patient's fingerstick blood sample. With this industry first technology, Siemens…

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Clinical Chemistry

Alsachim, a Shimadzu group company – Dosinaco

Highlights:Dosinaco is the first commercial LC-MS / MS reagent kit for anticoagulants in plasma. Anticoagulants are used to treat and prevent blood clots prevalent in cardiovascular diseases. Direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) have recently been developed, aiming to modulate factor X in a dose dependent manner.Their precise quantification for therapeutic purpose is necessary to determine the…

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Airborne emergency support

Drone delivers defibrillator

Thanks to extended permissions obtained from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in Sweden, autonomous drone company Everdrone will soon provide 200,000 people in Sweden with access to emergency medical deliveries of Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) by drone as Everdrone expands operations outside the Gothenburg region.

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Prognosis

Better heart failure outcomes through biomarker-based treatment

In a recent study by University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers, findings indicate that among patients with heart failure, obesity is associated with a higher risk of heart failure hospitalization or death due to cardiac causes. However, achieving biomarker-based treatment goals in heart failure improves the prognosis for patients irrespective of their obesity status.

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Study hints at increased risk

Many Covid-19 patients return to hospital within 140 days

People discharged from hospital after Covid-19 appear to have increased risks of diseases across multiple organs and nearly a third are readmitted to hospital in the following months, according to a new study co-led by researchers at University College London. The study, published in The BMJ, looked at nearly 50,000 people who were discharged from hospital by August last year and compared them to…

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Venous cannula system

New circulation implant to bridge the waiting time for donor heart

With the first-in-man implantation of the Berlin Heart Venous Cannula at the LMU University Hospital Munich, Germany, Berlin Heart offers patients with a failing Fontan circulation a unique chance to survive the waiting time for a donor heart. These patients are in a life-threatening condition: their health has deteriorated so much that they desperately need a new heart, but because of their poor…

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Gender bias in cardiovascular health

Heart attack: chest pain misdiagnosed more often in women

Chest pain is misdiagnosed in women more frequently than in men, according to research presented at ESC Acute CardioVascular Care 2021, an online scientific congress of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). The study also found that women with chest pain were more likely than men to wait over 12 hours before seeking medical help. “Our findings suggest a gender gap in the first evaluation of…

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Nanoparticle-based contrast agent SAIO

New MRI contrast agent to improve upon gadolinium-based products

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is widely used to identify the narrowing or blockage of blood vessels. Contrast agents improve the visibility of the structures and offer more accurate information of vascular conditions such as vascular blockage and stenosis. Commonly used gadolinium-based contrast agents must be administered in chelated forms due to the gadolinium ions' high toxicity and pose…

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Covid-19 collaterals

Coronavirus impacts heart surgery across Europe

Cardiac surgery across Europe is being set back as a result of the ongoing coronavirus. Operations are being postponed, treatment delayed, and critical care staff have been redeployed to cope with the impact of the Covid-19 epidemic on health services. However, gaining a clear picture of the Europe-wide situation, and the long-term effects coronavirus will have on heart surgery, is a challenge…

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"Alexa, do I have an irregular heart rhythm?"

AI uses smart speakers for contactless cardiac monitoring

Smart speakers, such as Amazon Echo and Google Home, have proven adept at monitoring certain health care issues at home. For example, researchers at the University of Washington have shown that these devices can detect cardiac arrests or monitor babies breathing. But what about tracking something even smaller: the minute motion of individual heartbeats in a person sitting in front of a smart…

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Fertility research

Type 1 diabetes shortens reproductive period in women, study finds

The length of the female reproductive period (the time from the onset of menses to the final menstrual period) has important health implications. A new study compared the length of reproductive periods for women with type 1 diabetes with women without diabetes to confirm the effect diabetes has on the female reproductive system. Study results are published online in Menopause, the journal of The…

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Cardiology research

How hypertension leads to atherosclerosis

Research scientists at Aarhus University and Aarhus University Hospital have investigated the mechanisms by which hypertension leads to arterial damage and atherosclerosis. The results may facilitate the development of new therapies. Hypertension is a prevalent condition affecting approximately one third of all adults. It is also the leading global cause of morbidity and mortality. The condition…

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Human cytomegalovirus in immunocompromised patients

Post-transplant HCMV infection: pre-emptive strike could save many lives

A potential new treatment to protect immunosuppressed patients from human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) has been discovered by scientists at the University of Cambridge. Their study shows that certain epigenetic inhibitors expose and help to destroy dormant HCMV infections, which often reactivate to cause serious illness and death in these vulnerable groups. Subject to clinical trials, their proposed…

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Expert prediction

How will Covid affect cancer death rates in 2021?

Researchers have called on European policymakers to make adequate resources available to tackle pancreatic cancer, a disease that is almost invariably fatal and where little progress has been made over the past 40 years. In the latest predictions for cancer deaths in the EU and UK for 2021, published in the cancer journal Annals of Oncology, researchers led by Carlo La Vecchia (MD), a professor…

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Wearable for blood pressure, heart rate, glucose and more

New patch monitors multiple markers at once

Engineers at the University of California San Diego have developed a soft, stretchy skin patch that can be worn on the neck to continuously track blood pressure and heart rate while measuring the wearer’s levels of glucose as well as lactate, alcohol or caffeine. It is the first wearable device that monitors cardiovascular signals and multiple biochemical levels in the human body at the same…

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Myocarditis, infarction, ischaemia

Many Covid-19 patients leave hospital with heart damage

Around 50% of patients who have been hospitalised with severe Covid-19 and who show raised levels of a protein called troponin have damage to their hearts. The injury was detected by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans at least a month after discharge, according to new findings published in the European Heart Journal. Damage includes inflammation of the heart muscle (myocarditis), scarring or…

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On the go

Improving wearables for medical applications

Cardiovascular diseases are the most common cause of fatalities in Germany. Medical wearables which measure vital parameters such as the blood pressure, heart rate and blood oxygen levels in real time could help detect these diseases early, and treat them on a preventive basis. In daily life and during sports activities, in the form of fitness bracelets or smart watches, these small, portable…

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Coronavirus and the heart

Covid-19 infection raises risk of dying after a cardiac arrest

Covid-19 patients who suffer a cardiac arrest either in or out of hospital are far more likely to die than patients who are not infected with the coronavirus. In particular, women have the highest risk of dying: they are nine times more likely to die after suffering a cardiac arrest in hospital, according to research published in the European Heart Journal.

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Promising alternative to heart transplants

'Artificial aorta' to reduce blood pressure

Engineers at EPFL’s Center for Artificial Muscles have developed a silicone aorta that can reduce how hard patients’ hearts have to pump. Their breakthrough could offer a promising alternative to heart transplants. “Over 23 million people around the world suffer from heart failure. The disease is usually treated with a transplant, but because donated hearts are hard to come by, there is an…

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Women's health

Hypertension symptoms in women often mistaken for menopause

Pregnancy complications and early menopause increase women’s future risk of heart disease. Cardiologists, gynaecologists and endocrinologists recommend how to help middle-aged women prevent later heart problems in a European Society of Cardiology (ESC) consensus document published in European Heart Journal, a journal of the ESC.

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Heightened risk of major heart disease and stroke

Why is fried food bad for the heart?

Fried-food intake is linked to a heightened risk of major heart disease and stroke, finds a pooled analysis of the available research data, published online in the journal Heart. And the risk rises with each additional 114 g weekly serving, the analysis indicates. It’s clear that the Western diet doesn’t promote good cardiovascular health, but it’s not clear exactly what contribution fried…

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High-proof cardiology research

Even a bit of alcohol can increase atrial fibrillation risk

A study of nearly 108,000 people has found that people who regularly drink a modest amount of alcohol are at increased risk of atrial fibrillation, a condition where the heart beats in an abnormal rhythm. The study, published in the European Heart Journal, found that, compared to drinking no alcohol at all, just one alcoholic drink a day was linked to a 16% increased risk of atrial fibrillation…

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Biodegradable implantables

One step closer to regenerative heart valves and stents

Non-degradable prostheses for cardiovascular tissues can be used to replace heart valves and blood vessels, but they can’t stay in the body permanently. In two recent papers, researchers at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) in collaboration with a number of clinical partners, the Dutch Heart Foundation, and TU/e spin-off companies Suprapolix, Xeltis, and STENTiT have shown how…

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High-risk group

Covid-19 doubles death rate in acute heart failure patients

Patients with acute heart failure nearly double their risk of dying if they get Covid-19, according to new research. The small, single centre study highlights the need for patients with heart failure to take extra precautions to avoid catching Covid-19. “Our results support prioritising heart failure patients for Covid-19 vaccination once it is available,” said study lead investigator Dr.…

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Getting into shape

'Prehabilitation' to aid recovery after surgery for older patients

Older adults about to undergo elective surgery should undertake a sustained programme of targeted exercise beforehand to counteract the muscle-wasting effects of bedrest, new research suggests. A study published by researchers in the University of Birmingham’s School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences showed that short term ‘prehabilitation’ strength exercises, undertaken…

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Atrial fibrillation treatment

Gold-tipped, force sensing ablation catheter approved for CE-market

Electrophysiologists in Europe will now have access to state-of-the-art, gold-tipped force sensing ablation catheters following the Biotronik announcement that AlCath Force is CE-market approved. With the release of the unique catheter, a full suite of specialized tools for a complete solution in the treatment of complex atrial fibrillation (AF) cases is available to physicians.

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Cardiac complications

Immunotherapy drugs can lead to higher risk of heart problems

A study of over a thousand cancer patients treated with immunotherapy drugs has found these patients are at greater risk of heart problems, including death from heart attack or stroke. The patients had either lung cancer or malignant melanoma (a type of skin cancer), for which immune checkpoint inhibitors such as a programmed cell death-1 (PD1) inhibitors or cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated…

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A technique evolves

Cardiac CT: a diagnostic jack-of-all-trades

According to Professor Fabian Bamberg, Medical Director at the Clinic for Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology at University Hospital Freiburg, Germany, ‘In recent years, cardiac CT has seen a mindboggling technological evolution.’ It is, he believes, a very robust procedure that allows the routine acquisition of high-resolution images with very few side effects.

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Specialist centre chain

HartKliniek – cardiology with a Dutch twist

Cardiology tends to be surrounded by a maze of regulations, responsibilities and red tape. Leave it to the traditionally mercantile Dutch to streamline things. Case in point: HartKliniek, a chain of medical specialist diagnosis and treatment centres in the Netherlands which aim to transform cardiology to a more effective model – less personnel, more time for patients. We spoke with Menno and…

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treatment sensitivity

Single brain region links depression, anxiety and heart disease

Over-activity in a single brain region called the subgenual anterior cingulate cortex (sgACC) underlies several key symptoms of mood and anxiety disorders, but an antidepressant only successfully treats some of the symptoms. A new study suggests that sgACC is a crucial region in depression and anxiety, and targeted treatment based on a patient's symptoms could lead to better outcomes.

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Exploring new principles for therapeutic agents

New class of inhibitors to protect against neurodegeneration

Neurobiologists at Heidelberg University have discovered how a special receptor at neuronal junctions that normally activates a protective genetic programme can lead to nerve cell death when located outside synapses. Their fundamental findings on neurodegenerative processes simultaneously led the researchers at the Interdisciplinary Center for Neurosciences (IZN) to a completely new principle for…

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Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance

Insight on the use of CMR in COVID-19 patients

The Society for Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance (SCMR), a Society dedicated to improving cardiovascular health by advancing the field of cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR), has released a formal statement supporting and explaining their position on the use of CMR in COVID-19 patients. The topic has led to debate among medical professionals, especially those in the cardiology specialty.

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Overheard at AAIC 2020

Exciting Alzheimer's findings: ’flu vaccines and P-tau217

More than 32,000 people from over 160 countries registered for The Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC 2020) in July. This largest and most influential international conference on dementia science had to be held virtually this year, when important highlights were aired. The ability to identify individuals at high risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), or at early…

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Non-pulmonary aspects

The cardiovascular impact of Covid-19

The increased Covid-19 risk to cardiac patients was discussed during an online presentation at ECR 2020. Focusing on the prevalence of pulmonary embolism in Covid-19 patients, Dr Karl-Friedrich Kreitner, Professor of Radiology at the Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology at the Johannes-Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany, discussed hypotheses which can explain cardiac…

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Distant experts observe adverse signs

Remote cardiac monitoring

For cardiology patients fitted with an implantable cardiac monitor, cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) or pacemaker, home monitoring is a blessing. The system also has many advantages for medical staff, as Kristina Rauholt reports. The nurse and Certified Cardiac Device Specialist for Allied Professionals (CCDS) at the Sahlgrenska University Hospital, in Sweden, has worked with home monitoring…

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Cardiovascular risk

Cholesterol drug combination could benefit heart patients

A new study has suggested that more patients could benefit from combinations of cholesterol-lowering drugs to reduce their risk of stroke and heart attacks. While risk is reduced for many patients through taking statins, those at the highest risk of cardiovascular events may benefit from combinations of lipid-lowering therapies, according to the results of a European study of patients across 18…

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Atrial fibrillation ablation

Superfast procedure to treat heart arrhythmia

A new procedure to correct atrial fibrillation (AF) has been performed for the first time in the UK last week at Leicester's Hospitals. AF affects 1-2% of the general population, which amounts to more than 1 million people in the UK, and increases the risk of stroke by five times. Treating the condition with medicine is often ineffective, with many patients continuing to suffer from…

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Facial photo analysis

AI uses ‘selfies’ to detect heart disease

Sending a “selfie” to the doctor could be a cheap and simple way of detecting heart disease, according to the authors of a new study. The study is the first to show that it’s possible to use a deep learning computer algorithm to detect coronary artery disease (CAD) by analysing four photographs of a person’s face. Although the algorithm needs to be developed further and tested in larger…

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L-type calcium channel blockers

LCCBs may contribute to heart failure

L-type calcium channel blockers (LCCBs) — the most widely used drugs for treating hypertension — may harm the heart as much as help it, according to a new study. The research team, led by the Pennsylvania State University, found that in rats and human cells in vitro, LCCBs cause changes in blood vessels — known as vascular remodeling — that reduce blood flow and increase pressure.…

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3D microprinted scope

World’s smallest imaging device focuses on heart disease

A team of researchers led by the University of Adelaide and University of Stuttgart has used 3D micro-printing to develop the world’s smallest, flexible scope for looking inside blood vessels. The camera-like imaging device can be inserted into blood vessels to provide high quality 3D images to help scientists better understand the causes of heart attack and heart disease progression, and could…

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Coronavirus in radiology

Why we need a global view of COVID-19

There are major complications from COVID-19 – ARDS, pulmonary embolism and neurological – that imaging can help detect, manage and/or follow up in the long term, radiologists from France and the UK explained during a recent ESR Connect session. ARDS is the most dreaded complication and the number one morbidity in COVID-19 patients. The incidence was up to 30% of patients in initial reports.…

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Surprising find

More than half of heart scans abnormal in hospitalised COVID-19 patients

Half of COVID-19 patients who received a heart scan in hospital showed abnormalities in heart function, according to new research funded by the British Heart Foundation (BHF). The study, published in the European Heart Journal - Cardiovascular Imaging, found that around one in seven showed severe abnormalities likely to have a major effect on their survival and recovery. It also showed that one…

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SARS-CoV-2

COVID-19: why do patients immune response differ?

It remains one of the key questions of the current corona pandemic: Why do people infected with SARS-CoV-2 experience varying degrees of COVID-19, the disease which it triggers? Researchers, led by Professor Mascha Binder from University Hospital Halle (Saale), have investigated more than 14 million receptor sequences of B and T cells, i.e. immune cells, obtained from blood samples of COVID-19…

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30 years after reunification, health disparities still exist

Germany: reunited but still divided (in healthcare)

East Germany has many more hospitalisations for heart failure compared to West Germany despite a nationwide healthcare system, according to research presented today on HFA Discoveries, a scientific platform of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). Heart failure is the most common reason for hospital admissions and is responsible for a large part of the total health expenditure on…

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Abbott cardiovascular

An increasingly dynamic cardiovascular presence

In the world of laboratory diagnostics, ‘Abbott’ is a household name. Few people however are aware of the fact that the company, headquartered in Illinois, USA, is also leading in other fields. A number of innovations in cardiac and vascular diagnostics and therapy might soon put Abbott in the limelight. Dr Angela Germer, Regional Director DACH, and Volker Keller, Head of Marketing DACH,…

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Teaching partnership

Setting new standards for specialist integrated cardiac care

Royal Philips and Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust announced a seven-year managed service agreement to deliver on the Trusts’ vision to set new standards of excellence for cardiac care in the UK and globally. The partnership will combine the latest innovations in technology for integrated cardiovascular solutions to deliver on the quadruple aim: better health outcomes, lower cost of care, and…

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Wearables and apps in cardiology

Digital health: guardian angel or 'Big Brother'?

Cardiologist Professor Martin Cowie raised an important issue on the challenges of the digitisation of cardiovascular healthcare at the ESC Congress 2019 in Paris. In his presentation, he confirmed that, within digital health transformation, the role of physician and the patient-doctor relationship will continue. However, much of the preparation may be conducted remotely.

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Heart failure monitoring

App detects fluid in the lungs via voice recordings

Voice analysis by a smartphone app identifies lung congestion in heart failure patients, allowing early intervention before their condition deteriorates. The small study is presented on HFA Discoveries, a scientific platform of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). “Speech is personal and as such, very small changes (related to the same person) can be detected – for example, the ability…

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Organic lungs, synthetic muscles

Biohybrid model re-creates respiration mechanics

Benchtop tools for studying the respiratory system misrepresent the interdependence between the diaphragm, abdomen and lungs. Meanwhile, computational models often hide the mechanisms in a black box computation, without a clear picture of what transpires in the process. This means students form a poor understanding of respiratory mechanisms and makes it hard to train clinicians for real scenarios…

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Hypertension

High blood pressure increases COVID-19 death risk

Patients with raised blood pressure have a two-fold increased risk of dying from the coronavirus COVID-19 compared to patients without high blood pressure, according to new research published in the European Heart Journal. In addition, the study found that patients with high blood pressure who were not taking medication to control the condition were at even greater risk of dying from COVID-19.

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Experts express concerns

EDQM Blood Guide could make Europe more dependent on US plasma

The Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association (PPTA) is concerned about the recommendations contained in 20th version of Blood Guide of The European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines (EDQM) which aims to harmonise standards and recommendations on blood collection, preparation, and the use of blood and blood components. This Guide, if applied, will have a negative impact on the availability…

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Increased usability and precision

New X-ray contrast agent enhances vascular imaging

Researchers at the University of Zurich have developed a new X-ray contrast agent which is easier to use and distributes into all blood vessels more reliably, increasing the precision of vascular imaging. This reduces the number of animals required in research experiments. Various diseases in humans and animals – such as tumors, strokes or chronic kidney disease – damage the blood vessels.…

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Heart attacks, heart failure, stroke

COVID-19’s cardiovascular complications

COVID-19 can cause serious cardiovascular complications including heart failure, heart attacks and blood clots that can lead to strokes, emergency medicine doctors at the University of Virgina report in a new scientific paper. They also caution that COVID-19 treatments can interact with medicines used to manage patients’ existing cardiovascular conditions.

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Neuro-infection

Can COVID-19 infect the brain?

As COVID-19 spreads throughout the country, much attention has been paid to the devastating effects of the virus on the lungs. But doctors are learning how the virus may affect other organs, including the brain. Some patients with COVID-19 have had neurological symptoms, which may include an increased risk of stroke. Other symptoms may include headache, loss of the senses of smell and taste,…

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ECG algorithm

New AI tool for cardiac diagnostics

Artificial intelligence (AI) may be an aid to interpreting ECG results, helping healthcare staff to diagnose diseases that affect the heart. Researchers at Uppsala University and heart specialists in Brazil have developed an AI that automatically diagnoses atrial fibrillation and five other common ECG abnormalities just as well as a cardiologist. The study has been published in Nature…

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Reducing healthcare costs, optimising patient care

The potential of remote patient monitoring

The remote patient monitoring technology and devices market has attracted significant investment in the past decade and is growing at an extraordinary rate. Expected to reach around 28 billion euros by the end of 2023, this market is very attractive to many big name companies that want to be ‘connected’ such as Qualcomm Life, Inc., OSI Systems, Inc., Philips Healthcare, Abbott Laboratories…

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Coronavirus research

COVID-19 severity and air pollution: exploring the connection

Scientists at the University of Cambridge have found an association between living in an area of England with high levels of air pollution and the severity of COVID-19, the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Because of the urgent need to share information relating to the pandemic, the researchers have published their report on MedRXiv. It has not yet been peer-reviewed. However, the…

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Coronavirus research

'Organ-on-a-chip' model to find out how COVID-19 invades our bodies

In order for a COVID-19 vaccine and antiviral drugs to be developed, scientists first need to understand why this virus spreads so easily and quickly, and why it invades our bodies with seemingly little resistance from our immune system. To understand how COVID-19 enters the body and does its damage, a team of top researchers from universities, hospitals and the National Research Council of…

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More power for interventionists

Combining image-guided diagnosis and robot-assisted treatment

Siemens Healthineers AG took a big step last October. To incorporate treatment along an entire clinical path, the firm acquired Corindus Vascular Robotics, Inc., to combine image-guided diagnosis with robot-assisted surgery. A couple of months later, the Corindus endovascular robotic system CorPath GRX was used to implant a vascular stent into an obstructed coronary artery – the first use of…

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Coronavirus treatment

Promising trial drug blocks early stages of COVID-19

An international team led by University of British Columbia (UBC) researcher Dr. Josef Penninger has found a trial drug that effectively blocks the cellular door SARS-CoV-2 uses to infect its hosts. The findings, published in Cell, hold promise as a treatment capable of stopping early infection of the novel coronavirus that, as of April 2, has affected more than 981,000 people and claimed the…

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Corona consequences in Spain

COVID-19 fears put interventional cardiology on lockdown

The number of primary angioplasties – the main treatment for heart attack – has dropped by 40% in Spain since the beginning of the coronavirus lockdown. Other key diagnostic and therapeutic procedures have also considerably diminished. Spanish cardiologists are urging the population to call the emergency medical systems whenever symptoms of myocardial infarction occur, in spite of fears…

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Bringing AI to the clinics

Pioneering a vendor neutral AI system

Capturing all the possibilities brought by AI long-seemed a faraway dream for hospitals, since most artificial intelligence (AI) solutions are vendor dependent, thus complicating their deployment in clinical practice. However, the dream has become reality at Utrecht UMC, which launched a pioneering AI infrastructure able to monitor information and run any algorithm from its HIS, RIS and PACS.…

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DXA

Hologic – Horizon DXA system

Detector: HR ceramic detectorSystem: Dual energy X-ray sourceScan method: Single-sweep scanningHighlightsThe Horizon DXA platform is designed to help healthcare professionals in managing Osteoporosis, Obesity and Cardiovascular diseases.• Less than 15 sec for Hip and Spine BMD, 20 sec for Vertebral Fractures Assessment, 3 min Whole Body and 20 sec atypical femur detection• High…

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Surprising discovery

Fatty liver disease can also affect lean people

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is mostly diagnosed in overweight and obese people. However, severe forms of NAFLD can also be detected in rare genetic diseases such as lipodystrophy or in patients with HIV, putting them at a high risk for developing liver failure, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Norbert Stefan and colleagues have now detected a yet unknown cause of NAFLD in lean…

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Promising metabolite

Gut flora could hold the key for new diabetes treatments

An organic compound produced by the gut flora – the metabolite 4-Cresol – is considered to have protective effects against both type 1 and 2 diabetes, notably by stimulating the growth of the insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells. This is according to a new study led by Inserm researcher Dominique Gauguier at the Environmental Toxicology, Therapeutic Targets, Cell Signaling and Biomarkers…

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Air pollution with a bang

The health impact of festival fireworks

Fireworks associated with festival celebrations such as Australia Day, China’s Lunar New Year and Fourth of July, in the USA, may have a significant impact on the health of vulnerable people, a new study reveals. Using fireworks during these celebrations generates anthropogenic source of air pollutants with significant impacts on local air quality, creating up to eight times the average of…

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Research award shortlist

Soft cardio-robot and 'Google Maps' of the heart face Big Beat Challenge

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) announced its shortlist of four research projects competing for a single £30 million award. The charity says it is one of many radical new approaches needed to address a frightening mismatch in research funding compared with the burden of heart and circulatory diseases. With the World Health Organization forecasting an increase in cardiovascular deaths…

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Interventional cardiology

First robotic coronary angioplasties in Germany

Robocath, a company that designs, develops and commercializes cardiovascular robotic systems for the treatment of vascular diseases, announces it has successfully completed its first robotic coronary angioplasties with R-One in Germany. The Percutaneous Coronary Interventions (PCI) were performed by Pr Michael Haude, a recognized and highly experienced interventional cardiologist at Rheinland…

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Obesity, heart disease, diabetes

Are NCD not so "non-communicable" after all?

Diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer or certain lung diseases are among the most common non-natural causes of death today and account for about 70 percent of deaths worldwide. They are defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as non-communicable because they are assumed to be caused by a combination of genetic, lifestyle and environmental factors and cannot be transmitted…

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Sex-specific genes

Heart valve defect: female and male hearts react differently

When the heart valve between the aorta and the left ventricle is narrowed, i.e. aortic valve stenosis is present, different genes are active in men than in women. Scientists of the German Centre for Cardiovascular Research (DZHK) at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin have discovered this for the first time. Future research can be planned more precisely according to these results and could…

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Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI)

Robotic angioplasty: The future of endovascular interventions

An exciting development from an innovative French company is poised for a major breakthrough in European markets. As is now well-known, coronary angioplasty is a procedure that widens and/or unblocks the arteries to the heart by the insertion and inflation of a balloon and/or stent into the vessel lumen. In modern practice, a stent is normally left in place to ensure the blood flow remains…

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Higher intake, lower risk

Could magnesium save women from fatal heart disease?

A new prospective study based on data from the Women's Health Initiative found a potential inverse association between dietary magnesium and fatal coronary heart disease in postmenopausal women. The study, which also showed a trend between magnesium and sudden cardiac death in this population, is published in Journal of Women's Health. Charles Eaton, MD, Alpert Medical School of Brown University,…

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CVD and stroke risk

How work stress and low income sap your heart

Low educational levels predict an increased risk of developing or dying from heart disease and stroke according to the first nationwide study of the link between education and risk of cardiovascular disease. The study, which is published in the European Heart Journal, is also the first nationwide study to look at the extent to which low income and work stress plays a role in the association…

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Cardiology in Cape Town

First successful robotic coronary angioplasties in Africa

Robocath, a company that designs, develops and commercializes cardiovascular robotic systems for the treatment of vascular diseases, announced it has successfully completed six robotic coronary angioplasties with R-One, a first for the continent of Africa. The Percutaneous Coronary Interventions (PCI) were performed by Dr Faizel Lorgat, an interventional cardiologist at the Netcare Christiaan…

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Personalised prevention

‘Liquid health check’ could predict disease risk

Proteins in our blood could in future help provide a comprehensive ‘liquid health check’, assessing our health and predicting the likelihood that we will we will develop a range of diseases. Preventative medicine programmes such as the UK National Health Service’s Health Check and Healthier You programmes are aimed at improving our health and reducing our risk of developing diseases. While…

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New research

Cancer patients at higher risk of dying from heart disease and stroke

More than one in ten cancer patients do not die from their cancer but from heart and blood vessel problems instead, according to new research published in the European Heart Journal. For some cancers, like breast, prostate, endometrial, and thyroid cancer, around half will die from cardiovascular disease (CVD). Dr Nicholas Zaorsky, a radiation oncologist, and Dr Kathleen Sturgeon, an assistant…

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Biological aging

Wearables link insufficient sleep to cardiovascular disease risk

Getting a good night’s sleep is important and insufficient sleep has been linked to poor health in many studies. Analysing data collected from wearable trackers, researchers from the SingHealth Duke-NUS Institute of Precision Medicine (PRISM) and the National Heart Centre Singapore (NHCS) recently demonstrated that chronic sleep deprivation is associated with increased cardiovascular disease…

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Interactive CVD risk calculator

KardioKompassi: Individualised cardiac disease prevention with genomic data

With KardioKompassi, researchers from the University of Helsinki have developed an interactive web tool that aims to predict and prevent cardiovascular disease. The application for patients and doctors uses traditional health information combined with genome information, including 49,000 DNA variations associated with the disease. Using this data, the risk calculator evaluates the risk of cardiac…

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Presented at SAC cardiology congress

App reminds heart patients to take their pills

Heart patients using a smartphone app reminder are more likely to take their medication than those who receive written instructions, according to a study presented at the 45th Argentine Congress of Cardiology (SAC 2019) in Buenos Aires. ‘We hypothesised that the app would increase adherence by 30%, but the impact was even greater,’ said study author Dr Cristian M. Garmendia, of the…

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Food study

Red and processed meat: not so bad for our health, but...

Most people can continue to eat red and processed meat as they do now. A major study led by researchers at McMaster and Dalhousie universities has found cutting back has little impact on health. A panel of international scientists systematically reviewed the evidence and have recommended that most adults should continue to eat their current levels of red and processed meat. The researchers…

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Cardiology

AI identifies genes linked to heart failure

The Queen Mary University of London team applied an artificial intelligence (AI) technique to analyse the heart MRI images of 17,000 healthy UK Biobank volunteers. They found that genetic factors accounted for 22-39 per cent of variation in the size and function of the heart’s left ventricle, the organ’s main pumping chamber. Enlargement and reduced pumping function of the left ventricle can…

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Multi-component procedure

SULEEI: extending the functional lives of biological heart valve prostheses

For decades now, the Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP has been developing processes and systems for cleaning, sterilization, and surface modification. The newly in-house developed process, called SULEEI, makes it possible to sterilize (S) and preserve decellularized pericardial tissue by means of photo-initiated ultraviolet (U) crosslinking…

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RiskCardio

Using machine learning to estimate risk of cardiovascular death

Humans are inherently risk-averse: We spend our days calculating routes and routines, taking precautionary measures to avoid disease, danger, and despair. Still, our measures for controlling the inner workings of our biology can be a little more unruly. With that in mind, a team from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) came up with a new system for better…

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Combatting nosocomial infections

A&E Staphylococci POCT

Martin Möckel and Dorothee Riedlinger, from the Charité Medical University Berlin, Emergency and Acute Medicine Campus Virchow-Klinikum, and Campus Charité-Mitte report on POCT testing in the A&E Department to screen for Staphylococcus aureus colonisation of the nose or throat. People colonised with Staphylococci are at increased risk of developing a nosocomial, i.e. hospital acquired…

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The Estonian Genome Project

Everyone’s DNA recorded for disease risks

When it comes to genetics, Estonia is considered a trailblazer, as the ambitious Estonian Genome Project (Eesti Geenivaramu) shows. Its objective is to test the genome of every citizen for the risk of diseases. Dr Jaanus Pikani talks about the initial difficulties which the genome project encountered and about its potential for Estonian – and possibly worldwide – healthcare.

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Brewing up brain benefits

Drinking tea improves brain health

A recent study led by Assistant Professor Feng Lei from the National University of Singapore (NUS) Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine’s Department of Psychological Medicine revealed that regular tea drinkers have better organised brain regions – and this is associated with healthy cognitive function – compared to non-tea drinkers. The research team made this discovery after examining…

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Hypothyroidism

Underactive thyroid: Study validates treatment guidelines

A study led by the University of Birmingham provides strong support for current recommendations on treating patients with an underactive thyroid and validates latest UK and US guidelines, say researchers. The retrospective cohort study, published in The BMJ, analysed anonymous GP records of over 162,000 patients who have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism – a highly prevalent condition more…

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Reopening blood vessels

Microbubbles and ultrasound can help treat heart attacks

Doctors are using microbubbles and ultrasound to treat heart attacks – deploying these traditional diagnostic tools in an attempt to reopen tiny blood vessels, reduce scar size and restore heart function, according to a study described at a medical conference in Chicago. “This study shows for the first time that microbubbles can be used to both diagnose and treat small vessel obstructions…

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Fat radiomic profile

Using AI to predict heart attacks

Technology developed using artificial intelligence (AI) could identify people at high risk of a fatal heart attack at least five years before it strikes, according to new research funded by the British Heart Foundation (BHF). The findings are being presented at the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Congress in Paris and published in the European Heart Journal. Researchers at the University of…

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The XX factor

XX chromosomes put women's hearts at risk

New research at the University of Kentucky has confirmed that the presence of XX sex chromosomes increases the amount of fat circulating in the blood, which leads to narrowing of the arteries and ultimately a higher risk of heart attacks and coronary artery disease. The research was published in Nature Communications. The leading cause of death in women is coronary artery disease (CAD), but women…

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High tissue contrast, spatial detail, complete tissue characterisation

MRI shows cardiac diagnostic value

Cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging has become faster, simpler and more widely available in recent years because it has evolved to deliver effective assessment and diagnosis of a range of heart conditions with expanding guideline indications. ‘MRI is the reference test for anatomical imaging of the heart, for quantifying chamber sizes and function,’ explains Professor Sven Plein,…

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Cardiology & radiology

AI opens up boundaries between medical disciplines

Uwe Joseph Schoepf, Professor for Radiology, Cardiology and Paediatrics and Director of the Department of Cardiovascular Imaging at the Medical University of South Carolina, discusses areas of application for AI-based radiology. The cardiothoracic imaging expert and his team were largely involved in the development and early clinical trials of the Siemens AI-Rad Companion Chest CT, a software…

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Risk stratification

Cardio-controversy: Added value through CAD imaging?

ESC Congress, Paris: Two key strands in the ‘Controversies in imaging coronary artery disease’ session at the congress will examine the pros and cons of imaging use for coronary artery disease risk stratification in asymptomatic patients; the second strand will focus on whether CT angiography should be the first choice for imaging coronary artery disease in patients with stable chest pain.…

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Cardiovascular disease

Why exercise is even more beneficial for CVD patients

A study of nearly half a million people has found for the first time that those with heart or blood vessel problems benefit more from having a physically active lifestyle than do healthy people without cardiovascular disease (CVD). Increased physical activity reduced the risk of dying during a six-year follow-up period for people with and without CVD, but the researchers found the greatest…

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The MR-INFORM trial

Seeking a first-line ischaemia test

Findings from a comparative outcome study have highlighted the benefits of using cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging (CMR) perfusion imaging as a first-line ischaemia test in patients with moderate risk of coronary artery disease (CAD). The MR-INFORM (Magnetic Resonance Perfusion or Fractional Flow Reserve in Coronary Disease) trial, which began in 2012 (results published in the New England…

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Highlights from the 30th TCT Meeting

Advancing transcatheter cardiovascular therapies

A remarkable number of studies and innovations were presented at the 30th anniversary of Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT) meeting in San Diego, California. TCT 2019 will take place in San Francisco, CA between 25-29-Sep-2019. On the clinical side, the long-expected results from COAPT trial studying MitraClip device in patients with secondary mitral regurgitation and heart failure…

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Tricuspid insufficiency

Healing the heart’s right chambers

Most people think their heart is located on the left side of their chest, and this is also the direction science has looked, so far. However, just as the heart sits at the centre of the chest, disease also affects the right side of the organ. Cardiologists must now look right to improve patient prognosis, according to Professor José Luis Zamorano, Vice President of the European Society of…

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ESC consensus statement

Intracoronary imaging advances

Interventional cardiologists have been aware of the value of intracoronary (IC) imaging in clinical practice for more than twenty years. However, recent developments and improvements in modalities and software have enabled huge strides in its range and scope for both diagnostic assessment and in percutaneous coronary interventions. Imaging options now include intravascular ultrasound (IVUS),…

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100th birthday of Sir Godfrey Newbold Hounsfield

The legacy of the man who pioneered computed tomography

On the centenary of his birth, Mark Nicholls reflects on the life and legacy of Nobel laureate Sir Godfrey Newbold Hounsfield, the man who pioneered computed tomography. It was a discovery that came from a moment of inspiration during a country walking holiday; the idea that one could determine what was inside a box by taking X-ray readings at all angles around the object. From that, Sir Godfrey…

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Fast Food study

More burger joints, more heart attacks

Areas with a higher number of fast food restaurants have more heart attacks, according to research presented at the 67th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand (CSANZ). The study also found that for every additional fast food outlet, there were four additional heart attacks per 100,000 people each year. Study author Tarunpreet Saluja of the University of…

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Mortality risk

A new biomarker to predict your lifespan?

Fourteen metabolic biomarkers can predict long term mortality in individuals helping to determine life expectancy in general populations, a new study in the journal Nature Communications reports. In the largest study of its kind, researchers from Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands and the University of Surrey investigated predictors of long-term mortality risk. Current predictors…

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Global warming

Climate change increases heart attack risk

As sea levels and temperatures rise, so does the number of heat-related heart attacks: A study published in the European Heart Journal by scientists at Helmholtz Zentrum München and colleagues from a range of other Bavarian institutions shows that the risk of suffering a heat-induced heart attack has increased significantly in recent years.

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Alternative ways

Plan B for cholesterol transport

Kiel biochemistry research team proves the existence of a previously unknown alternative cholesterol transport mechanism inside cells. Cholesterol is a vital cell building block in humans and animals, and an integral part of the so-called cell membrane. This boundary layer separates the interior of the cell from the neighbouring cells and the surrounding environment. By means of certain proteins,…

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End stage kidney disease

Pre-eclampsia increases ESKD risk

Women with pre-eclampsia during pregnancy have a five-fold increased risk of end stage kidney disease (ESKD) later in life compared to women who don’t develop pre-eclampsia during pregnancy, according to a new study. Professor Louise Kenny from the University of Liverpool is one of the co-authors of the study, which is published in PLOS Medicine and also involved researchers at University…

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Personalised medicine

Why digital twins could be the ideal therapy testbed

Advanced computer models of diseases can be used to improve diagnosis and treatment. The goal is to develop the models to “digital twins” of individual patients. Those twins may help to computationally identify and try the best medication, before actually treating a patient. The models are the result of an international study, published in the open access journal Genome Medicine.

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Public health

Lax salt rules linked to increase of CVD and cancer

More cancer, more cardiovascular disease: The relaxation of UK industry regulation of salt content in food was – to put it lightly – a very bad idea, say researchers from Imperial College London and the University of Liverpool. They have linked the change in regulation with 9,900 additional cases of cardiovascular disease (CVD), and 1,500 cases of stomach cancer. The researchers analysed the…

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Micro-constrictions

Reducing damage after a heart attack

Researchers in the Medical Sciences Division of Oxford University have established a key cause of micro blood vessels constricting during surgery to reopen a blocked artery, and identified a potential therapeutic target to block the mechanism behind it. During the emergency procedure used to reopen the blocked artery causing a heart attack, smaller "micro" blood vessels can remain…

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Heart and bones

Osteoarthritis linked to cardiovascular disease

Researchers at Lund University in Sweden have investigated the link between osteoarthritis and mortality in an epidemiological study. It was shown that the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease was higher for people with osteoarthritis than for the rest of the population. Using population registers, the researchers studied approximately 469 000 people living in Skåne, Sweden, who in 2003…

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Crohn’s disease

Adult-onset IBD linked to higher mortality

While the onset of inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease) in adulthood is tied to a higher mortality, the actual number of deaths has been falling, a Swedish study from Karolinska Institutet published in the journal Gut reports. Now it is a case of ascertaining which of the newer treatments are the most efficacious, say the researchers. Using the Swedish National…

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To the core

Mass spec needs experienced operators

As mass spectrometry proves to be a more consistent and accurate tool in biochemical measures, with acknowledged advantages over immunoassays, its role in diagnostics has escalated. Headed by Professor Ruth Andrew, the pioneering Mass Spectrometry Core Facility at the University of Edinburgh, aims to offer researchers access to expert scientists and specialist resources to support clinical…

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Transthyretin amyloid cardiomyopathy

New treatments for rare disease ATTR-CM approved

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Vyndaqel (tafamidis meglumine) and Vyndamax (tafamidis) capsules for the treatment of the heart disease (cardiomyopathy) caused by transthyretin mediated amyloidosis (ATTR-CM) in adults. These are the first FDA-approved treatments for ATTR-CM. Vyndaqel and Vyndamax have the same active moiety, tafamidis, but they are not substitutable on a…

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Tailored treatment needed

Half of patients on statins fail to reach ‘healthy’ cholesterol level after 2 years

Half of patients prescribed statins in primary care fail to reach ‘healthy’ cholesterol levels after two years of treatment with these drugs, reveals research published online in the journal Heart. The findings back up those of previous studies, and highlight the need for personalised medicine to tackle high cholesterol and lower the significantly increased risks of future heart disease and…

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Thrombocytes

Blocking platelets could prevent fatty liver disease and liver cancer

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is among the most common chronic hepatic disorders in Western industrial countries and the rate is also rapidly rising in newly industrialized countries. Experts estimate that about 30 to 40 percent of the population worldwide develop this liver condition. In the United States, this disease is well on the way to becoming the most frequent indication for liver…

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Alternative to statin treatment

Atherosclerosis: Antibodies stabilise plaque

Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have found that type IgG antibodies play an unexpected role in atherosclerosis. A study on mice shows that the antibodies stabilise the plaque that accumulates on the artery walls, which reduces the risk of it rupturing and causing a blood clot. It is hoped that the results, which are published in the journal Circulation, will eventually lead to improved…

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Heart disease

Higher egg and cholesterol consumption hikes death risk

Cancel the cheese omelet. There is sobering news for egg lovers who have been happily gobbling up their favorite breakfast since the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans no longer limited how much dietary cholesterol or how many eggs they could eat. A large, new Northwestern Medicine study reports adults who ate more eggs and dietary cholesterol had a significantly higher risk of…

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Renal denervation

Ultrasound-assisted surgery to treat hypertension

A one-off operation that targets the nerves connected to the kidney has been found to maintain reduced blood pressure in hypertension patients for at least six months, according to the results of a clinical trial led in the UK by Queen Mary University of London and Barts Health NHS Trust, and supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). The study, published in the journal…

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Simplified catheter ablation

“Back to basics” atrial fibrillation procedure could cut waiting lists

A day case catheter ablation procedure which includes only the bare essentials and delivers the same outcomes could slash waiting lists for atrial fibrillation patients, according to late-breaking results from the AVATAR-AF trial presented today at EHRA 2019, a European Society of Cardiology (ESC) congress. With the simplified protocol, 30% more patients could receive catheter ablation for the…

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Men in danger

High testosterone could put your heart at risk

Having a genetic predisposition to high testosterone levels could play a role in the development of major heart problems in men, such as blood clots and heart failure, finds a study published by The BMJ. The findings may also have implications for men who take testosterone supplements to boost energy levels and sex drive. Some evidence suggests that genetically predicted (“endogenous”)…

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Healthy heart

How the 'blue' in blueberries can lower blood pressure

A new study published in the Journal of Gerontology Series A has found that eating blueberries can lead to an improvement in blood vessel function and a decrease in systolic blood pressure. Researchers from King’s College London and the University of Surrey studied 40 healthy volunteers for one month. They were randomly given either a drink containing 200g of blueberries, or a matched control…

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Fusion of CT and ultrasound

Merging the benefits of two imaging worlds

Radiologist Alexis Kelekis, Associate Professor of Interventional and Musculoskeletal Radiology at Attikon University Hospital, Athens, speaks about his work and developments in merging scans and techniques to gain greater accuracy in diagnosis and planning. The benefits of fusion imaging are widely acknowledged. Favoured in clinical practice by radiologist Alexis Kelekis, he explained: ‘The…

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Practical videos, e-booklets, case studies and more

Online education in vascular ultrasound

Fabrizio d’Abate, St. George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, in London, UK describes new aspects of learning and training in ultrasound operation: "A textbook represents the most traditional tool of a teaching arsenal. However, the IT boom and internet have transformed the way people approach different tasks in their lives, from solving a problem to acquiring knowledge. This…

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Predicting the truth from hybrid imaging

Holomics: a trendy but complex topic

‘Is it possible to know whether a treatment will work before even starting it – in other words, to predict the truth? That’s the great promise of holomics, a concept that everyone has been involved in without even noticing,’ said leading French physicist Irène Buvat, from the In Vivo Molecular Imaging French lab, who is set to focus on this subject at ECR 2019. ‘The truth,’ said…

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Cardiology & calcium

First look at the ‘molecular switch’ that makes our heart beat

Oxford University Radcliffe Department of Medicine researchers have developed a new method that uses a protein originally found in marine corals to visualise the flow of calcium that makes the heart beat. In a paper published in the journal Circulation Research, they used this technique to uncover the effects of genetic errors that contribute to a heart condition that is the leading killer of…

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Pediatrics

Predicting the aneurysm risk for kids with Kawasaki disease

When Olivia Nelson was 3 years old, her parents noticed that she had a fever that wouldn’t get better. They brought her to a nearby hospital, where she spent about two weeks being screened for diseases. As doctors tried to find a diagnosis, a lymph node on Olivia’s neck became swollen. Alarmed and wanting an answer, the Nelsons asked to transfer to Seattle Children’s. “It was very…

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Seasonal influenza

Why the flu is especially dangerous for kidney failure patients

In patients with kidney failure, influenza-like illness (ILI) likely contributes to more than 1,000 deaths per year. The finding, which comes from a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN), points to the importance of protection against, surveillance of, and, where possible, treatment of such infections in patients with kidney dysfunction.…

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Silicon photonics

New device for screening arterial stiffness and diagnosing CVD

Researchers have developed a prototype medical device based on silicon photonics for the screening of arterial stiffness and for the diagnosis of cardiovascular diseases such as arterial stenosis and heart failure. This is a cooperation between imec, the world-leading research and innovation hub in nanoelectronics and digital technology and Ghent University, together with Medtronic and other…

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Under pressure

Physician burnout cases are rising

Longer hours, more demanding working practices, complex cases and increased administration are taking their toll on physicians as growing numbers, across a range of specialties, report signs of burnout. All this despite technological advances such as artificial intelligence and machine learning to aid diagnosis, read and interpret images, improve workflow and enhance decision-making. Recognised…

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Cardiovascular diseases and nutrition

CVD: Every second to third premature death preventable

Of the 4.3 million cardiovascular deaths in Europe in 2016, 2.1 million were the result of poor nutrition. The 28 EU member states account for around 900,000, Russia for 600,000 and the Ukraine for 250,000 of these deaths. Every second to third premature cardiovascular death could be prevented by better nutrition. These were the findings of an international research team led by the Martin Luther…

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From the heart

Finding the 'fingerprint' of cardiovascular disease

Forty-two percent of all deaths in the United States are related to cardiovascular disease (CVD). According to the Global Cardiovascular Drugs Market Forecast, by 2030 the number of deaths from CVD will rise to 23.6 million per year in the U.S. alone. Along with increased deaths, spending on drugs to treat CVD as well as related hospital stays, home health care and lost productivity will also…

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Brain health after surgery

Post-operative cognitive decline: mostly a myth, says study

Patients who undergo heart surgery do not experience major memory changes—either better or worse—when compared with those who have a much less invasive, catheter-based procedure, according to a study published online in The Annals of Thoracic Surgery. “It was comforting to see that the differences in cognitive decline between the two heart procedures are small, even though one involves…

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On the go

Wearable ultrasound patch penetrates the skin to measure blood pressure

Researchers funded by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) are literally breaking barriers using ultrasound waves emitted from a flexible patch to accurately measure central blood pressure and help detect cardiovascular problems earlier. For a while now, smart, wearable devices have had the ability to capture how many steps we take in a day or measure our heart…

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Transcranial magnetic stimulation

Treating post-stroke depression with magnetic fields

Obstetricians and midwives often warn new mothers about postpartum depression. They might mention what symptoms women should look out for—such as crying spells or extreme irritability—and where they can turn for help. But people who have strokes may not learn that they, too, are at risk for depression. Post-stroke depression stems from the cardiovascular changes in the brain that lead to a…

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Cholesterol-lowering medication

Statins overprescribed for primary prevention

Taking cholesterol-lowering drugs, or statins, as a preventive measure can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. A study by the University of Zurich now shows that this measure is recommended too often, as current guidelines fail to take into account the risks of side effects. Even healthy people who don't suffer from a cardiovascular disease are prescribed statins if they meet certain risk…

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Teamwork <3

7-Tesla: Multidisciplinary care is key to cardiac disease management

New 7-Tesla MR methods could potentially shed light on cardiomyopathies’ principles, according to a leading French radiologist who also stresses the importance of teamwork between radiologists, cardiologists, surgeons and anaesthesiologists. Morphologic and dynamic information of the myocardium is achieved with millimetric resolution (0.9x0.9 square mm). Strong intensity variations…

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Unhealthy lifestyle

How working night shifts raises your risk of type 2 diabetes

Women who work intermittent night shifts and do not follow a healthy lifestyle face an especially high risk of type 2 diabetes, suggests a study published by The BMJ. The researchers found that the risk of type 2 diabetes is actually higher than simply adding the individual risks associated with unhealthy lifestyle and shift work together, indicating that combining an unhealthy lifestyle with…

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Cardio app

AI system screens early Phase AFib

Here at Medica, the Taiwanese start-up Maisense is demonstrating Freescan, its artificial intelligence (AI) based solution to screen for stroke through the early detection of atrial fibrillation (AFib). Speaking of the system’s aims, Maisense summed up this huge health problem. ‘Every four minutes, someone dies of stroke. Thirteen percent of these are classified as haemorrhagic stroke. When…

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Cardiology

AI system improves heart disease diagnosis

Cardiologists in the UK are trialling an artificial intelligence (AI) system that will help better diagnose heart disease. Devised by researchers from the University of Oxford, it can predict heart disease and cardiac events from ultrasound stress test images with initial results showing that the AI system is far more accurate than conventional techniques. Paul Leeson, Professor of Cardiovascular…

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Embracing the digital age

France simplifies healthcare

Successful pilot scheme means TERR-eSanté will be rolled out for the whole of the Ile-de-France. The French have a reputation as early adopters of telemedicine driven by the desire to modernise healthcare by the judicious use of the latest technology. The first ‘carte vitale’ (national health card) with a microchip was introduced in 1998. Since 2011, the information stored on the cards has…

31st Annual Cardiologists Conference

Every heart beat counts

The term “Cardiology” means the division of science that converses functions, diseases and health activities related to heart. It is also connected with blood, arteries and veins, as blood is the vital component of human body, upon which the heart works and for it we survive. The world cardiology market includes cardiac biomarkers, interventional cardiology and cardiovascular devices. The…

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Clinical benefit

The future of telemonitoring

The IN-TIME study remains the only major trial to show a clear mortality benefit for remote monitoring in heart failure (HF) patients. A recent analysis by Hussar et al. suggests workflow processes such as daily, multiparametric data transmitted using Biotronik Home Monitoring, may be key to this benefit. Dr Wilfried Mullens, Head of the Heart Failure and Cardiac Rehabilitation Section at…

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Cardiovascular care

Manipulating atoms and molecules with nanomedicine

Nanomedicine is set to play an increasingly important role in the future diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease. Understanding the importance of nanomedicine was enhanced by four experts who spoke at the British Cardiovascular Society conference held in June. The technology – dealing with dimensions and tolerances of less than 100 nanometres and especially the manipulation of…

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Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

COPD: Biomarker for kidney disease has unexpected benefits

A commonly used biomarker of kidney disease may also indicate lung problems, particularly COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, according to new research published online in the American Thoracic Society’s American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. In “Albuminuria, Lung Function Decline, and Risk of Incident COPD: the NHLBI Pooled Cohorts Study,” Elizabeth C.…

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World Sepsis Day 2018

Beckman Coulter sponsored 2nd World Sepsis Congress

Beckman Coulter was a gold sponsor of the 2nd World Sepsis Congress, a free-of-charge online conference, hosted by the Global Sepsis Alliance, that took place on Sept. 5 and 6, 2018. Over the course of 17 sessions, more than 100 speakers from approximately 30 countries discussed the wide-ranging implications of sepsis and how to raise public awareness of this often-fatal condition.

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Lab equipment

It takes a team

Clinical laboratories need to meet greater testing demands, improve efficiency, and deliver reliable, high-quality results, while at the same time, facing an increasing shortage of skilled employees and growing budget constraints. Both patient and physician satisfaction are frequently tied to the time it takes to receive lab test results. In a recent survey commissioned by Siemens Healthineers,…

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A valuable assistant

AI will transform radiologists into data scientists

Machine learning is increasingly helping radiologists to acquire faster and better quality images, and measure heart function. This is just the tip of the iceberg; artificial intelligence has far more to bring to the heart, explained Daniel Rueckert, Head of the Department of Computing at Imperial College London, during CMR 2018. Machine learning (ML) is becoming a valuable assistant for…

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Precision CV medicine

New biomarkers for cardiovascular disease

A range of new biomarkers and diagnostics for precision cardiovascular medicine were outlined in a session at the British Cardiovascular Society annual conference held recently in Manchester. Speakers from King’s British Heart Foundation Centre looked at how mass spectrometry allows clinicians to measure large numbers of proteins simultaneously, discussed a new biomarker for cardiac ischaemia…

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A challenger arrives

AI – just a tool or the future of healthcare?

Neuroscientist Lynda Chin MD, Founder and CEO of Real-world Education Detection and Intervention, has little doubt: ‘Artificial intelligence to the rescue,’ she proclaimed in her keynote address at the Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Summit, held in Las Vegas this spring. ‘We need a system and analytics to interpret data!’ she urged, despite being well aware that building a…

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Mobile cMyC analysis

The future POCT heart attack test

Experts report that a new blood test to diagnose heart attacks could be carried out on a hand-held device in the not-too-distant future. The test, devised by a team at Kings College London, uses similar technology to the troponin test, but instead analyses cardiac myosin-binding protein C (cMyC). In research presented at the British Cardiovascular Society conference in Manchester, UK, this June,…

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Weak heart

The many causes of dilated cardiomyopathy

A major study has been launched to investigate the interaction between genes and lifestyle factors and dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). Led by Professor Stuart Cook, at the National Heart and Lung Institute, this, the largest ever DCM study, will investigate why people develop DCM, with a focus on who is most at risk of sudden death or heart failure (HF). Six hospital trusts across England –…

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Cardiology & the sexes

Why heart attacks are different for women

MRI has a central role in picking up myocardial infarction with non-obstructive coronary disease, a condition that particularly affects women but is often left untreated, with potentially fatal outcome. Heart attack in women presents differently than in men and requires a different approach when it comes to detection and prevention, according to cardiologist Allison Hays.

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Heard at the British Cardiovascular Society conference

The role of nanomedicine in CV diagnosis

Nanomedicine will play an increasingly important role in future diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease, a subject explored in detail by four expert speakers at the British Cardiovascular Society conference in Manchester in June. The conference heard that the technology – dealing with dimensions and tolerances of less than 100 nanometres, especially the manipulation of individual…

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3D & CHD

The changing face of imaging in cardiology

While the question is still debated as to whether MRI is the better CT, along comes a potential game changer – a new data based 3-D reconstruction method of heart anatomy and function that aims to replace diagnostic coronary angiography. In the near future not only adult patients with coronary heart disease could benefit from this new technique but also children with complex congenital heart…

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Cardiology congress

ESC 2018: At the heart of research

When delegates from around 150 countries converge on Munich for ESC Congress 2018 they will no doubt reflect on what they themselves eat. Yes, nutrition is up for debate, questioning, for example, whether weight loss therapies can also prevent heart attacks and strokes. Results from the CAMELLIA-TIMI 61 trial of 12,000 overweight individuals with established cardiovascular disease or diabetes…

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Cerebrovascular disease

Stroke deaths decrease all over Europe – but it's too early to cheer

New research, published in the European Heart Journal, has shown deaths from conditions that affect the blood supply to the brain, such as stroke, are declining overall in Europe but that in some countries the decline is levelling off or death rates are even increasing. Cerebrovascular disease includes strokes, mini-strokes, and narrowing, blockage or rupturing of the blood vessels supplying…

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Sodium consumption

Daily salt intake: How much is too much for our heart?

New research shows that for the vast majority of individuals, sodium consumption does not increase health risks except for those who eat more than five grams a day, the equivalent of 2.5 teaspoons of salt. Fewer than five per cent of individuals in developed countries exceed that level. The large, international study also shows that even for those individuals there is good news. However, the…

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Hazardous hormones & the heart

How being transgender affects cardiac health

Transgender individuals may be at higher risk for myocardial infarction and death due to cardiovascular disease, according to several studies. This increased risk may be due to the hormone therapy that transgender patients take for masculinization or feminization. A review authored by Michael S. Irwig, MD, associate professor of medicine at the George Washington University (GW) School of Medicine…

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Dementia

Drinking will put your brain at risk (but then again, abstinence might, too)

People who abstain from alcohol or consume more than 14 units a week during middle age (midlife) are at increased risk of developing dementia, finds a study in The BMJ today. However, the underlying mechanisms are likely to be different in the two groups. As people live longer, the number living with dementia is expected to triple by 2050. So understanding the impact of alcohol consumption on…

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vFFR calculation

New software facilitates angiographiy analysis

A new software to calculate the pressure drop and vFFR value (vessel Fractional Flow Reserve) in the coronary artery non-invasively was presented to interventional cardiovascular experts at EuroPCR 2018 in Paris. The software called CAAS vFFR (Cardiovascular Angiographic Analysis Systems for vessel Fractional Flow Reserve) was developed by Pie Medical Imaging (Esaote Group). The vFFR calculation…

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Old as mice

When less is more: Gene switch for healthy aging found

Aging is a major risk factor for physical frailty and the development of age-related diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, type II diabetes and Alzheimer's disease. Numerous studies have already shown that a calorie-restricted diet can significantly delay age-related conditions in several organisms like flies, worms, fish and mice, and that it even improves fitness at old age. But who…

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Not such a bad egg after all

Daily egg consumption may reduce cardiovascular disease

People who consume an egg a day could significantly reduce their risk of cardiovascular diseases compared with eating no eggs, suggests a study carried out in China, published in the journal Heart. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death and disability worldwide, including China, mostly due to ischaemic heart disease and stroke (including both haemorrhagic and ischaemic…

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Bone health

Osteoporosis defined: causes, symptoms and treatments

Weak, easily broken bones are an epidemic in the United States. They’re often tied to osteoporosis, a disease that causes bones to degenerate over time. This makes them less flexible, more brittle, and easier to break. According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation, more than 44 million Americans aged 50 and older either have or face the threat of developing osteoporosis due to low bone…

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Tropical diseases

Investigating schistosomiasis

Schistosomiasis, a disease that is common in sub-Saharan Africa, is particularly widespread in Madagascar. The Schistosoma mansoni parasite responsible for the disease is linked to fibrotic changes in the liver which can be detected using point-of-care ultrasound. Junior doctor Hannah Russell described how point-of-care ultrasound was put to the test in remote locations during an expedition to…

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Heat therapy

Soaking in a hot tub has unexpected benefits, researchers find

According to new research, obese women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) may be able to improve their health outlook with a particularly enjoyable form of therapy: regular sessions in a hot tub. The research found that soaking in a hot tub several times per week for two months results in improved measures of cardiovascular health, beneficial changes in fat tissue and other improvements…

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Research

Patient immune response could prevent heart failure

Patients’ own immune response has the potential to prevent the development and progression of heart failure, according to research presented at Frontiers in CardioVascular Biology (FCVB) 2018, a European Society of Cardiology congress. The study found antibodies in the plasma and heart muscle of end-stage heart failure patients. “The role of the immune response in the development of heart…

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ACE inhibitor side effects

Lowering blood pressure comes at a price

The recent ACC/AHA Guidelines have increased the number of patients said to have hypertension by up to 40 percent (new 130/80 mmHg). The international recommendation is to treat hypertension with angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs). These drugs, however, have significant adverse effects: Often a chronic dry cough leads to patients withdrawing from treatment. On rare occasions, ACEIs…

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Paradigm shift

Diabetes has 5 subtypes, not 2, study suggests

A completely new classification of diabetes which also predicts the risk of serious complications and provides treatment suggestions. The major difference from today’s classification is that type 2 diabetes actually consists of several subgroups, the results indicate. “This is the first step towards personalised treatment of diabetes”, says physician and diabetes expert Leif Groop.

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Compelling cohorts

Population imaging: Big Data will boost disease prediction

Population imaging is key to determining disease prediction and risk prevention, and Big Data will be key to extracting information and drawing analysis from imaging results, experts highlighted during the annual meeting of the European Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine and Biology (ESMRMB) held in Barcelona in October. Interest in cohort studies has been increasing over the years and…

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A discipline transforming

Adding value with AI in medical imaging

In the next five to 10 years, artificial intelligence is likely to fundamentally transform diagnostic imaging. This will by no means replace radiologists, but rather help to meet the rising demand for imaging examinations, prevent diagnostic errors, and enable sustained productivity increases.

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Microbleed detection

A new hope for Alzheimer's prediction

New information on dementia biomarkers is emerging, as increasing results from population studies become available. However, although the list of risk factors lengthens, the value of these predictors, and more generally the cause of disease, remain to be determined, according to Gabriel Krestin, professor and chairman of the Department of Radiology & Nuclear Medicine at Erasmus MC, University…

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Machine learning

Google AI now can predict cardiovascular problems from retinal scans

Google AI has made a breakthrough: successfully predicting cardiovascular problems such as heart attacks and strokes simply from images of the retina, with no blood draws or other tests necessary. This is a big step forward scientifically, Google AI officials said, because it is not imitating an existing diagnostic but rather using machine learning to uncover a surprising new way to predict these…

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Manganese or gadolinium?

Promising first steps for alternative MRI contrast agent

NIH-supported researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) are studying an alternative to the contrast agents currently used for magnetic resonance imaging. In a recent study, they showed that the experimental alternative, a manganese-based compound, performs as well as approved contrast agents. Their study appeared online in Radiology. Magnetic resonance (MR) images are taken so that a…

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Discovery

'Selfish' gene may protect against heart disease

Scientists have identified a gene that may play a protective role in preventing heart disease. Their research revealed that the gene, called MeXis, acts within key cells inside clogged arteries to help remove excess cholesterol from blood vessels. Published in the journal Nature Medicine, the UCLA-led study in mice found that MeXis controls the expression of a protein that pumps cholesterol out…

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In wine, there’s health

Low levels of alcohol might actually be good for your brain

While a couple of glasses of wine can help clear the mind after a busy day, new research shows that it may actually help clean the mind as well. The new study, which appears in the journal Scientific Reports, shows that low levels of alcohol consumption tamp down inflammation and helps the brain clear away toxins, including those associated with Alzheimer’s disease. “Prolonged intake of…

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Cardiovascular MR

Standard medical tests miss nearly two-thirds of heart attack diagnoses

Standard medical tests miss nearly two-thirds of heart attack diagnoses, reveals research presented at CMR 2018. “Unrecognised MI has a poor short-term prognosis but until now the long-term outlook was unknown,” said lead author Dr Tushar Acharya, a cardiologist at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, US. “This study investigated long-term…

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Cardiovascular risk

One cigarette a day can't do much harm – or can it?

Smoking just one cigarette a day carries a much higher risk of developing coronary heart disease and stroke than expected – about half the risk of smoking 20 per day –concludes a University College London (UCL)-led review of the evidence. The researchers say their findings, published in the BMJ, have important consequences for many smokers and health professionals who believe that smoking…

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Microbubbles

Bracco Imaging to innovate ultrasound for new personalized gene therapy

Bracco Imaging S.p.A., a global leader in diagnostic imaging, announced that it has initiated new experimental activities in its R&D Center in Geneva, Switzerland, to explore a new application for gas-filled microbubbles in the development of personalized gene therapy for treatment of chronic dysfunctional diseases related to lipid metabolism. Microbubbles have already revolutionized medical…

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Efferocytosis

Can stem cell exosome therapy reduce fatal heart disease in diabetes?

Macrophage cells routinely remove dead or dying cells to maintain the body homeostasis. Such removal becomes crucial after serious injury, especially the repair of dead heart muscle after a heart attack. University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers have preliminary data, with cultured cells or diabetic hearts, that diabetes impairs this removal of dead heart-muscle cells. They believe this…

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Pressure monitoring

This biodegradable sensor disappears after its job is done

Engineers at the University of Connecticut (UConn) have created a biodegradable pressure sensor that could help doctors monitor chronic lung disease, swelling of the brain, and other medical conditions before dissolving harmlessly in a patient’s body. The UConn research is featured in the current online issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The small, flexible sensor is…

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Survival rates

Grim outlook for chronic ischaemic heart disease patients

Nearly a quarter of patients with chronic ischaemic cardiovascular disease are dead or hospitalised within six months, reports a European Society of Cardiology (ESC) study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. “Coronary artery disease is the leading cause of death worldwide yet some patients appear to get lost in the system after their initial visit to a hospital or…

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Cholesterol testing

Follow-up test reduces heart attack reoccurrence risk

If you have a heart attack or stroke, it’s important to get your “bad” cholesterol measured by your doctor on a follow up visit. Researchers have found that one step is significantly associated with a reduced risk of suffering another serious cardiovascular episode. The new research, conducted by researchers at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Salt Lake City, found that…

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Cardiology, quick!

New blood test speeds up heart attack diagnosis

A new blood test to detect heart attacks has been developed by a team of researchers at King’s College, London, which could speed up diagnosis, according to results from pan-European trials. The test is quicker than the standard test, which combines an ECG with a blood test to measure the levels of troponin. Under current guidelines, suspected heart attack cases are tested for high blood…

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It's in the air

Higher air pollution in cities tied to higher mortality

New research presented at APHA’s 2017 Annual Meeting and Expo examined the burden of air pollution and its association with mortality in Chinese cities. The study by researchers at Drexel University Dornsife School of Public Health showed a significant correlation between higher air quality index concentrations and higher mortality rates. The study is the first to provide strong evidence of the…

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Nantes CHU

A hospital designed to fit 21st century medicine

21st century challenges are multitudinous for all. Ageing populations, a changing disease burden; increasing obesity with associated morbidities – Type 2 diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease; climate change pressures and more. Any new build plan demands a low carbon footprint; respect for the environment is paramount. To capture all those elements, the plan to regenerate a previously 10…

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Nationwide cohort study

Can an aspirin a day keep liver cancer away?

A new study presented this week at The Liver Meeting held by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases found that daily aspirin therapy was significantly associated with a reduced risk in hepatitis B virus‐related liver cancer. Past research suggests that daily aspirin therapy — which is often prescribed to prevent cardiovascular disease — may also prevent the development of…

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Split transplantation

One Liver. Two Saved Lives

A new study found that increased utilization of split liver transplantation could decrease the number of children who die awaiting liver transplantation without decreasing liver transplantation access for adult patients. “Among children listed for liver transplant in the United States, more than one in 10 infants and one in 20 older children die while waiting for a liver,” says Emily Perito,…

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Laboratory operations

Atellica NEPH 630 System now available

Siemens Healthineers announced its Atellica NEPH 630 System is now available to laboratories. The Atellica NEPH 630 System is a low- to mid-volume nephelometric protein testing solution that simplifies laboratory operations by unifying instrument, assay, IT connectivity and remote service disciplines to deliver advancements in protein testing.

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Cardiac injury

Could this be the way to mend a broken heart?

Early research results suggest scientists might be on to a way to preserve heart function after heart attacks or for people with inherited heart defects called congenital cardiomyopathies. Researchers at the Cincinnati Children’s Heart Institute report in Nature Communications that after simulating heart injury in laboratory mouse models, they stopped or slowed cardiac fibrosis, organ…

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Recommendations

First European advice on deep vein thrombosis

The first comprehensive European advice on deep vein thrombosis is published in the current issue of European Heart Journal. The recommendations were produced by the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Working Group on Aorta and Peripheral Vascular Diseases and Working Group on Pulmonary Circulation and Right Ventricular Function.

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Electrospinning

Renewing the promise of bioabsorbable implants

Electrospun materials bring a spark of hope to a cardiovascular landscape darkened by setbacks for reabsorbable stents. It was famously said that implanting a device in a person to cure a disease is to implant a new disease. Simply put, the human body will continually fight against foreign materials, leading to chronic inflammations or repeated interventions.

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ESC Congress 2017

Entering the future of cardiology

With 4,500 accepted abstracts, 600 sessions and 30,000 expected attendees, ESC Congress 2017 is undoubtedly the world’s largest cardiovascular event. On healthcare-in-europe.com, Dr Stephan Achenbach, Congress Program Committee Chairperson, gives an overview of issues and events unfolding in Barcelona from August 26-30.

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Neurological diseases

No health without brain health

A largely aged population is already a reality in some countries, and this will become a worldwide problem by 2047, when the number of the Earth’s old people is likely to surpass the number of young people.

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Biotechnology

Engineered muscle for the treatment of heart failure

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between Georg-August-Universität Göttingen Stiftung Öffentlichen Rechts, Universitätsmedizin (UMG) and the biotech company Repairon GmbH about commercial production and use of engineered human myocardium for heart failure repair. The production methods are based on the scientific work from the group of Prof. Dr.…

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Annual conference

The role of cardiology at the extremes

Cardiology at the extremes will be the key theme at the British Cardiovascular Society annual conference in Manchester in June. Topics covered include reflections in cardiology and space travel, physiological challenges associated with living under extreme environmental conditions and polar expeditions. Report: Mark Nicholls

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Monitoring

Down to earth devices

Space missions are famous for driving innovation, from Mylar blankets to microchips. So when French scientists learned one of their compatriots would be aboard the Soyuz MS-03 spacecraft to reach the International Space Station (ISS), they gathered cutting edge technologies for him to carry into orbit.

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Heart Attacks

Potential Breakthrough in Determining Who’s at Risk

Researchers are revisiting their views on the relative dangers soft and hard atherosclerotic plaque deposits pose to heart health. Findings of a new study by researchers at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute may be a “game-changer” for determining who’s at risk of a heart attack, they say.

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DNA

DNA labels predict mortality

Methyl labels in the DNA regulate the activity of our genes and, thus, have a great influence on health and disease. Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center and from the Saarland cancer registry have now revealed that an altered methylation status at only ten specific sites in the genome can indicate that mortality is increased by up to seven times. Smoking has a particularly…

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Coronary Artery Disease

Benefits of instant wave-free ratio (iFR) compared to fractional flow reserve (FFR)

Royal Philips today announced that the results from two large clinical trials comparing patient outcomes using instant wave-free ratio (iFR) and fractional flow reserve (FFR) in the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease have been published in the New England Journal of Medicine. First released in 2013, iFR is an innovative pressure-derived index unique to Philips, a global leader in…

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MRI & Liver

MRI leading the way in metabolic disease imaging

New MRI techniques are set to offer advances in the earlier detection of liver disease in patients. Radiologists are harnessing the potential of highly-targeted MRI, whilst exploring the imaging modality as a means of delivering non-invasive biomarkers, reducing the need for biopsy to measure treatment response.

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BMJ study

CT reduces cardiac catheterisations

Over 3.5 million cardiac catheterisations are performed in Europe each year. A study jointly conducted by radiologists and cardiologists at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and published in the latest issue of The BMJ compares CT with cardiac catheterisation in patients with atypical chest pain and suspected coronary artery disease (CAD). Please find below a few details regarding the…

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Contrast enhancement

Sonic boom with bubbles

Illuminating blood vessels, opening the blood-brain barrier and delivering drugs. What will be the next big thing that tiny microbubbles can do?

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Cardiology

CARDIOVIT AT-1 G2 - When tradition meets modernity

SCHILLER is very pleased to introduce the 2nd generation of its most successful ECG device: Building on the solidly proven AT-1 and enhanced with the latest technology, the AT-1 G2 distinguishes itself by its outstanding signal quality and the newest interpretation algorithm. Userfriendliness is guaranteed with step-by-step workflow and easy patient data entry. A colour screen and an…

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Diabetes

Recommended blood pressure targets are being challenged

The Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare recently raised the recommended target blood pressure for patients with diabetes. This may lead to more patients suffering from stroke or heart attack, according to a new study from the Sahlgrenska Academy. The new study is the world’s largest on the subject and is based on data from the National Diabetes Register.

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Regular exercise can lead to heart disease misdiagnosis

Scientists have shown that people who exercise for even a few hours each week can enlarge their hearts. This is a normal and beneficial response to exercise, but until now has only been recognised in athletes. The researchers say that doctors should now consider an individual’s activity level before diagnosing common heart conditions.

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Multimodality imaging

Algorithms define prosthetic valve dysfunction

Cardiologists have highlighted the importance of all imaging modalities – including echocardiography and cardiac CT – to evaluate prosthetic heart valves in a new series of recommendations. AF-patients who were admitted to an NHS hospital over the weekend faced a higher risk of dying over the next five years than others.

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Echocardiography

Toshiba beams in on cardiology ultrasound

To sharply focus on the specialised requirements in echocardiography, Toshiba engineers built from scratch the Aplio i900CV with a total redesign of hardware and software. The new Aplio i-series is a premium addition to the award-winning Aplio 500 platform, which today is used in more than 31,000 clinical settings worldwide.

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Research

Testosterone clue to male heart deaths

As men appear to have higher risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) than women of a similar age – with vascular calcification a strong predictor of mortality and morbidity from CVD – a team from the University of Edinburgh hopes that exploration of a link between gender and calcification could help unlock the pathway to new therapies. The researchers have been looking at whether sex hormones…

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Predicting plaques

Exposing the secrets of the heart

Coronary interventions often rely more on art than science as the decision to treat a patient tends to be based on what clinicians can see, a subjective interpretation of cardiac imaging. Two new techniques have emerged for cardiovascular diagnostics that are enabling software to help surgeons and cardiologists measure, and thereby better manage cardiac disease. Both rely on powerful computer…

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Patient care

Cardiac records highlight an enigma

Two new studies have focused on the impact of weekend care and discharge on heart patients within the NHS in England. In one, patients suffering atrial fibrillation (AF) who were admitted to a National Health Service (NHS) hospital over the weekend faced a higher risk of dying within five years than patients admitted during normal hours.

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7 tesla MRI

A new technique for dilated cardiomyopathy

UK researchers are working on a more precise imaging technique for dilated cardiomyopathy that may lead to more effective treatments. A study from the University of Oxford Centre for Clinical Magnetic Resonance Research (OCMR), part of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at the university, has demonstrated how the next generation of MRI scanners can work to measure heart conditions in dilated…

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Patient care

Advancing AF and renal dysfunction care

An innovative cardiac monitoring system that delivers continuous resynchronisation to patients, has shown a 35% risk reduction of hospitalisation for heart failure (HF) patients. The finding comes from the RESPOND-CRT (cardiac resynchronisation therapy) clinical trial, which was designed to investigate the clinical efficacy and safety of device-based optimisation using the SonR cardiac…

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Screening

What’s new in Cardiac Risk Testing?

It’s well known that cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in the UK and worldwide. In the UK it is responsible for more than 73,000 deaths annually, affecting 1 in 6 men and 1 in 10 women. With the emergence of such startling statistics, this begs the question, why do routine cholesterol tests still rely on the basic biomarkers high density lipoprotein (HDL), low density…

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Transplants

Cell-free DNA offers several advantages

As part of a national, joint research project in cooperation with Chronix Biomedical (San Jose, CA/USA/Göttingen/Germany), Professor Michael Oellerich MD is on new biomarkers in organ transplantation, aiming to develop personalised immunosuppression for patients. This also entails the development of molecular test procedures, among others for the early detection of rejection. The keyword here is…

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Preview

Prediction and Prevention theme for cardiovascular conference

Topics of big data, the genetic basis of coronary artery disease and sudden cardiac death in the young are among key subjects for British cardiologists at their 2016 annual conference. With a central theme of “Prediction and Prevention”, the 2016 British Cardiovascular Society annual conference takes place in Manchester from June 6-8 and features innovative and interactive presentations,…

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Warning

Obesity needs urgent action

The leading organisation responsible for research into obesity in Europe has warned that unless something is quickly done to tackle the region’s rising obesity epidemic, it is going to have a devastating effect on healthcare costs and productivity.

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ARIETTA Prologue

Mobility at your fingertips

ARIETTA Prologue has been designed especially for the point-of-care (POC) ultrasound market. Thanks to its intuitive and simple operation, it fulfils the fundamental role of a portable ultrasound system, bringing the clinical benefits of diagnostic ultrasound into new areas of healthcare.

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Cardiology

Mechanism for pathogenesis of heart failure

A weak heart is unable to pump an adequate amount of blood around the body. In Germany, this condition is now the commonest reason for patients to be admitted to hospital. A research group from the Clinic for Internal Medicine III in the Faculty of Medicine at Kiel’s Christian Albrecht University (CAU) and Schleswig-Holstein University Hospital (Kiel Campus) has discovered a previously unknown…

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Women and Men

Heart Disease: same symptoms, different care

Despite messages to the contrary, most women being seen by a doctor for the first time with suspected heart disease actually experience the same classic symptoms as men, notably chest pain and shortness of breath, according to a study led by the Duke Clinical Research Institute.

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Peripheral artery disease

Treating poor blood circulation with injectable gel

Bioengineers and physicians at the University of California, San Diego have developed a potential new therapy for critical limb ischemia, a condition that causes extremely poor circulation in the limbs and leads to an estimated 230,000 amputations every year in North America and Europe alone to prevent the spread of infection and tissue death. The new therapy could prevent or limit amputations…

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Cardiology

Rethinking acute aortic syndromes

Technological advances in CT imaging have sparked a veritable explosion of imaging data. Pushing against the rush of novel imaging findings there is, what Dr Geoffrey Rubin calls, the slow wave of adoption in medicine, the acceptance and agreement of the clinical community for new diagnostic assessments.

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CSI

3-D printed hearts

The CSI Congress (Congenital, Structural and Valvular Interventions) is one of the major fixtures for catheter therapy of congenital and structural heart defects. Key moments in this high profile event are live broadcasts and the audience can not only to listen to but also interact with the teams in the cath labs involved.

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Free

App to improve World’s cardiovascular health

Leading cardiologist Valentin Fuster, MD, PhD, has developed a free mobile application called “Circle of Health” to empower individuals around the globe to take action to comprehensively assess and enhance their daily overall heart health. Cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of mortality in the world. Dr. Fuster has created “Circle of Health” for the daily promotion of…

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σ=p*r/2h

Physics Law Applied to Improve Left-Sided Heart Failure

Cardiologists from 15 centers in 6 countries have evaluated a new approach for the treatment of Left-Sided Heart Failure under the leadership of Stefan D. Anker, MD, Ph.D., Professor of Innovative Clinical Trials at the Cardiology and Pulmonology Clinic in the Heart Center of the Medical University Göttingen (UMG). The investigators in the clinical evaluation entitled AUGMENT-HF demonstrated…

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Hot topic II

News from Israel

CNOGA Medical Ltd. is a leading developer and manufacturer of innovative e-health ecosystems for non-invasive, pain-free bio-marker monitoring and cloud-based ecosystem technology. At MEDICA CNOGA Medical presents its new Ecosystem Infrastructure of Non-Invasive Hemodynamics, Blood parameters & Blood gases Monitoring Devices, Cloud-Based Platform and Mobile Application.

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Simulation

Treating aortic aneurysms through virtual reality

Virtual models can be created in the angiography room thanks to an approach developed by researchers at the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre (CRCHUM) and the university’s departments of radiology, radiation oncology, and nuclear medicine. The latest advances were presented by Dr. Gilles Soulez at the Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiology Society of Europe (CIRSE) conference…

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DISCHARGE

Less unnecessary cardiac catheterisations in the future

Cardiac catheterisation is the gold standard for diagnosing coronary artery disease (CAD), the main cause of death worldwide. More than 3.5 million invasive coronary angiographies (ICAs) are performed in the European Union each year, tendency rising. Nearly 60 percent of these minimal invasive examinations do not result in further treatment, since the patients do not have obstructive epicardial…

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The mechanism that impairs blood flow with aging

With the world’s elderly population expected to double by 2050, understanding how aging affects the body is an important focus for researchers globally. Cardiovascular disease, the No. 1 cause of death worldwide, often is associated with aging arteries that restrict blood flow. Now, University of Missouri researchers have identified an age-related cause of arterial dysfunction, a finding that…

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Research

Link between diabetes and bone health

Diabetes, which now affects almost 30 million Americans, can cause serious health complications, including heart disease, blindness, kidney failure and lower-extremity amputations. A lesser-known but equally grave complication is the effect of diabetes on bone health.“Clinical trials have revealed a startling elevation in fracture risk in diabetic patients,” says Liyun Wang, associate…

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DTI

Diffusion tensor MRI

During a session focused on innovations in cardiovascular imaging, at the British Cardiovascular Society annual conference (Manchester in June), Professor Dudley Pennell, Director of the Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance (CMR) Unit, and Director of Non-Invasive Cardiology at Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust, outlined the background to diffusion tensor imaging (DTI).

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CAD

Seeking CT’s role

Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the major killer worldwide. Its early detection can save the lives of many. Computed tomography (CT) has shown tremendous results in this area, but its advantage over more invasive techniques remains to be demonstrated, especially in patients with low to moderate risk.

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Thrombectomy

Stroke is a surgical disease!

They did it for heart attacks. Can cardiologists now lead an effort to speed up the emergency medical response for stroke? Over the past five years, the Stent for Life initiative organised by interventional cardiologists has pushed majors medical centres to assure 24/7 coverage and reduce the time to treatment for patients showing up with severe chest pain.

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Diagnostic toolkit

New cardiac genetic testing panels

As new cardiac genetic testing panels become available, cardiologists have been warned not to lose sight of the importance of comprehensive clinical evaluation. While genetic testing is helping to identify more people at risk of inherited conditions, experts stress they are only part of the diagnostic toolkit.

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Tissue definition

PET/MR is promising

PET/MR has long been studied for oncology but the technique also holds promise in cardiovascular applications, according to a panel of experts at the recent International Conference on Nuclear Cardiology and Cardiac CT (ICNCT).

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Counter-pulsation

Evidence at last

Cardiac surgeons have finally found what cardiologists had reported missing three years ago: evidence to support the use of the oldest mechanical circulatory assist devices: IABP. Nevertheless, the findings may have only limited impact.

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AACC News

New tests to diagnose and monitor diabetes

Researchers have successfully tested two new potential methods for diagnosing and monitoring diabetes in its standard and gestational forms. These findings, presented at the 2015 AACC Annual Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo in Atlanta, may lead to easier, timelier, and more affordable ways of identifying and treating this chronic disease.

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Therapy

Molecular imaging mines deeper

The view across the Atlantic – it fills Professor Fabian Kiessling, Chair of Experimental Molecular Imaging at the RWTH Aachen (Rhine-Westphalia Institute of Technology Aachen), with optimism. The USA offers more opportunities for molecular imaging. Only recently, new tracers for Alzheimer’s were accepted as reimbursable in some centres, whilst the development of new diagnostics in Europe…

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Public Health Costs

Turkey’s coal expansion plans cause alarm as health costs quantified

A new study quantifies the public health costs of polluted air from existing coal-fired power plants in Turkey up to €3.6 billion per year and shows why massive future investment plans (80 new plants) are a major concern. The air pollution from burning coal for electricity generation in Turkey already causes premature deaths, chronic lung disease and heart conditions - moving away from fossil…

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Management I

Successful TopSharing

In the late 1990s, management consultant Julia K Kuark and Swiss communication consultant Hans Ulrich Locher coined the term ‘TopSharing’ – as in job-sharing but, in this case, to describe splitting a senior management role. In Germany, Dr Ulrike Ley, who coaches female doctors, considers the TopSharing model, expanded over a decade by Kuark, is a valid management model for hospitals.…

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Cardiology I

Chest pain units in Germany

The German care system for patients with acute and unspecific chest pain is unique in Europe. The closely knit and countrywide network of accredited Chest Pain Units (CPUs) ensures fast and targeted diagnosis of acute cardiac events. The German CPUs may soon serve as a blueprint for other European countries. The German Cardiac Society (DGK) has already accredited the first institutions – others…

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Stroke

Effectiveness of treatment confirmed

A research paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) today confirms earlier findings that a procedure called endovascular therapy (ET) for ischemic stroke is the best treatment option for many patients by reducing the incidents of disability. This is the fourth research paper published this year that confirms the efficacy of the treatment.

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Paediatric imaging

MRI in paediatric cardiology

'In paediatric cardiology, echocardiography is the method of choice for preoperative diagnostic purposes,' explains Professor Dr Emanuela Valsangiacomo-Büchel, senior cardiologist and director of cardiovascular imaging at the University Children’s Hospital Zurich, Switzerland. Report: Axel Viola

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Vulnerable plaque imaging

Looking for the perfect modality

What's the ideal solution for vulnerable plaque imaging? 'A non-invasive imaging procedure with high spatial and temporal resolution, and without radiation exposure, and which provides information on coronary plaque composition precisely and in series.' Report: Axel Viola

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Biologised medical technology

New approaches, solutions and outlooks on biologised medical technology developed in the Berlin metropolitan region were presented at this year’s annual 'Medical technology meeting place' in Berlin, which presents the latest research, new product developments and best practice examples from the greater-Berlin area. report: Bettina Döbereiner

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Gender medicine

The insight that psychological, social and environmental conditions affect a person’s health is insufficiently considered in medical training and in the every-day diagnosis and treatment of patients.

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Digital tomosynthesis for lung cancer screening

Screening for lung cancer saves lives. This fact has been documented by outcomes of the U.S. National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) which showed a 20% reduction in lung cancer-specific deaths in patients who had a chest CT screening. What is controversial is how to establish the radiology resources needed to perform exams for all the people who need it and then how to pay for the exams.

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Smart Fusion of modalities enhances clinical output

Adding high quality, dynamic ultrasound for hybrid imaging enables clinicians to improve detection of a range of lesions or to intervene better for improved clinical outcomes. ‘We can no longer be fascinated with pictures; what we need is proof of the clinical benefit from tools and techniques,’ said Professor Jose Zamorano MD, Director of Cardiology at Ramón y Cajal University Hospital in…

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Intra-aortic balloon pump pros & cons

Since cardiac surgeon Adrian Kantrowitz, of the Maimonides Medical Centre, Brooklyn, first introduced intra-aortic balloon pulsation (IABP) into clinical practice in 1967 (Surg Clin North Am. 1969 Jun; 49 (3) :505 -11), the technique has been considered the method of choice for short-term mechanical cardiac support following a heart attack.

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PET/MR: The opportunities are almost unlimited

MRI has become the gold standard for many indications in cardiac imaging, apart from imaging the coronary arteries. For function and morphology assessment, MRI is the leading technology. A further advance into as yet unknown territory is myocardial imaging aided by one of the first integrated 3-Tesla PET/MR systems currently used at the Institute of Radiology, Essen University Hospital,…

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40 years of CT scanning

Forty years ago an article was published that would change medical practice. In the British Journal of Radiology, English electrical engineer Godfrey N Hounsfield described how he had made a patient’s brain visible non-invasively by evaluating a large number of X-ray images of the skull taken from different directions.

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New cancer research targets

‘We aim to develop an understanding of which novel research activities could bring benefits for patients,’ explained Professor Christof von Kalle, Director of the Department of Translational Oncology, NCT (German National Centre for Tumour Diseases) and the German Cancer Research Centre (DKFZ), speaking on translational activities during the New Cancer Targets gathering in Heidelberg this…

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Bilateral initiation

Renowned French and German cardiovascular researchers gathered in October at the French Embassy in Berlin for a one-day symposium entitled ‘The Frontiers of Cardiovascular Research: From Basic Concepts to Novel Approaches in Therapy and Prevention’

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Diagnosing from a distance

An echocardiography system that conveniently slips into a coat pocket, this kind of miniature device is now commercially available. Portable ultrasound has been around for about a decade, but until recently the machines were about the size of a laptop rather than that of a smart-phone

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Toshiba presents advances in Cardiac Imaging at ESC 2012

Cardiology is playing an increasingly important role in today’s healthcare environment and, as a direct result, cardiologists are facing new challenges almost every day. Addressing the need of improving clinician confidence and diagnostic accuracy, Toshiba Medical Systems Europe presented two symposia on the first day of the European Congress of Cardiology, to be held in Munich, Germany, 25-28…

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Learning from the deceased

The case-based approach holds considerable promise for medical science. In a way, it’s a return to the roots, since this approach was common at the dawn of modern medicine. A case serves as a narrative that can be explored interactively in order to draw a conclusion, determine a course of action, or debate issues in a realistic context. Spanish cardiac imaging consultant Dr Rafael Vidal Perez,…

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Teamwork works well in Hamburg

One heart – One Team, the motto for this year’s German Society for Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery Congress emphasises that cardiac surgeons and cardiologists must now work more in tandem for their mutual patients. This is not just a short-lived three-day slogan, but a daily reality at the University Heart Centre Hamburg, as EH correspondent Holger Zorn reports

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Nanotechnology

Over the last five years the tiniest particles have attracted large attention in relation to the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease. Indeed, as in other medical disciplines, nanotechnology is advancing in cardiology despite as yet insufficient research on the extent of its effect and double blind studies to confirm findings

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CIED patients can have MRI examinations

A new generation of cardiovascular implantable electronic devices (CIEDs) includes the Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD), Cardiac Resynchronisation Therapy Defibrillator (CRT-Ds) and Cardiac Resynchronisation Therapy Pacemakers (CRT-Ps). Professor W R Bauer at University Hospital Würzburg has been significantly involved in their development, EH Editor Ralf Mateblowski to ask him about…

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A women's heart too often kills her

The biggest cause of death for most adult women in industrialised nations is coronary heart disease (CHD). Why the disease affects the genders differently is still not fully understood. European Hospital Editor Brigitte Dinkloh asked Professor Rafaelle Bugiardini MD FESC, from the Department of Internal Medicine Department, University of Bologna, whether he could explain the reasons and what…

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cTCA vs. cardiovascular diseases

CT coronary angiography

Cardiovascular diseases, the most common cause of death in the West, includes diseases for which early detection is an important objective in cardiac imaging – particularly for coronary artery stenosis. Diagnosis is often made in the cardiac catheter laboratory. Now, however, CT scanning advances provide a lower impact alternative to that invasive exam. PD Dr Thomas Schlosser, Consultant at the…

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CT angiography best for low-risk patients

Incorporating coronary CT angiography (CCTA) into the initial evaluation of low-risk patients coming to hospital emergency departments (EDs) with chest pain appears to reduce the time patients spend in the hospital without incurring additional costs or exposing patients to significant risks. The report of a study conducted at nine U.S. hospitals appears in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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The future of radiology

Viewing the lung in 2022

To avoid any misunderstanding, ten years from today CT and MRI will still be the pillars of lung imaging. However, Hans-Ulrich Kauczor, Professor of Radiology and Medical Director of the radiology clinic at Heidelberg University Hospital, is convinced the emphasis will have changed.

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COPD: screening, comorbidity, mortality

Despite some decline in cigarette consumption during the last decades, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) remains a major public health concern. COPD is among the top five leading causes of chronic morbidity and mortality in the US and in Europe. Nevertheless, COPD is substantially underdiagnosed.

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Breathing space

If the hopes of inventors are to be believed, in around 20 years’ time there will be ‘real artificial lungs -- for now the endpoint of a history that began 84 years ago with the invention of the iron lung. Until then, non-invasive and invasive mechanical respiration will continue to dominate the hospital, complemented by extracorporeal procedures for blood oxygenation and decarbonisation,…

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Risks and benefits of first line diabetes treatment

Although the drug metformin is considered the gold standard in the management of type 2 diabetes, a study by a group of French researchers published in this week's PLoS Medicine suggests that the long-term benefits of this drug compared with the risks are not clearly established - an important finding given that currently, thousands of people around the world are regularly taking metformin to…

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The end of blooming effects

During the RSNA 2011, Professor Uwe J Schoepf MD, was asked what will be the chosen procedure of the future in cardiac imaging, he answered without hesitation: ‘Definitely CT,’ and, the Director of Cardiovascular Imaging at the Medical University Charleston, South Carolina.

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New generation drug-eluting stents

A registry -which includes every patient in Sweden having percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) for the treatment of acute and stable coronary artery disease- has found that PCI implantations using a new generation of drug-eluting stents is associated with lower rates of relapse (restenosis), stent thrombosis and subsequent mortality than older generation drug-eluting stents and bare-metal…

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Transcatheder aortic valve implants

With transcatheder aortic valve implants (TAVI) forming some 20% of all heart valve replacement procedures today, and the technology constantly developing, the ´real art`to the intervention´s success lies in precise patient selection and procedure performance carried out by a multi-disciplinary and effective team, according to Simon Redwood, Professor of the interventional cardiology at King´s…

A niche with no lobby

Italy is a front runner in diabetic foot revascularisation. Among the country’s pioneers is Professor Roberto Gandini, at the Diagnostic Imaging and Interventional Radiology Department, University of Tor Vergata in Rome, who has developed and improved new technical options in peripheral vascular disease intervention, a technique that now saves about 92% of patients from major amputations due…

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Coronary Heart Disease can be diagnosed and treated earlier using new techniques

Prof. Uwe Nixdorff from the European Prevention Centre, Düsseldorf advocates cardiologists combine IMT measurement with ALOKA’s pulse wave intensity function to check for unseen coronary heart disease: “This technique is currently seldom used, however in my experience it provides a more complete picture and enables me to treat patients earlier for life-threatening conditions that are often…

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One in six people will have a stroke, but most strokes can be prevented

The theme of this year's World Stroke Day on 29 October is "One in Six", referring to the facts that one in six people will have a stroke at some point in their lifetime, and that a stroke will be the cause of someone's death every six seconds. These, says the World Stroke Organization (WSO), are everyday people leading everyday lives, but around 85% of them will have risk factors…

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Civilisation Diseases breaking economic growth

More than 63% of all deaths in the world are caused by so- called non-communicable diseases. In the WHO-region of Europe it’s even higher – 86%. The direct and indirect economic costs are huge – to the point of posing a real threat to growth in crisis-hit economies. Therapy alone is not enough, World Bank strategist Dr. Armin Fidler told the European Health Forum Gastein. Effective…

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It's official – chocolate linked to heart health

High levels of chocolate consumption might be associated with a one third reduction in the risk of developing heart disease, finds a study published on bmj.com. The findings confirm results of existing studies that generally agree on a potential beneficial link between chocolate consumption and heart health. However, the authors stress that further studies are needed to test whether chocolate…

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MitraClip Therapy Demonstrates Benefits

Results of an observational study presented at the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) meeting in Paris demonstrate that the percutaneous catheter-based MitraClip treatment improves symptoms and promotes reverse left ventricular (LV) remodeling in patients with mitral regurgitation (MR), who do not respond to cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT).

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Cardiac Disease: Coronary or not?

Acute myocardial Infarction (AMI) is a major cause of death and disability. Worldwide, one in eight patients die of an ischemic heart disease. Its rapid and accurate diagnosis is critical for the initiation of effective evidence based medical management, including early revascularization, but is still an unmet clinical need. The gradual implementation of high-sensitive cardiac troponins (hs-cTnT)…

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The PRODIGY study

However, the PROlonging Dual antiplatelet treatment after Grading stent-induced Intimal hyperplasia studY (PRODIGY) also found a consistently greater risk of haemorrhage in the 24-month dual therapy group according to all prespecified bleeding definitions, including the recently proposed Bleeding Academic Research Consortium classification. The need for transfusion was also increased in the…

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MRI and plaque imaging

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in industrial nations. More than 50 percent of those deaths are associated with pathologies of the coronary arteries, despite the fact that luminal obstructions that lead to myocardial infarction or ischemia do not occur out of the blue. The initial symptoms are preceded by a whole slew of arteriosclerosis stages and the early detection of…

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The New York Academy of Sciences Conference

This two-day international scientific symposium follows two previously successful conferences held by the New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS), ‘la Caixa’ Welfare Projects, and the International Centre for Scientific Debate (ICSD) for researchers, physicians, scientists and representatives of the related industries, working in cardiology, vascular disease, inflammation, regenerative medicine,…

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Transcatheter aortic valve implants

Although transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) is increasingly the most used surgical procedure in Germany, only two products have been approved for routine use. Although this has prompted other medical device manufacturers to go into action, according to Professor Justus Strauch, head of cardiac surgery at the Klinikum Bergmannsheil, Bochum, no one has yet taken the lead in this…

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A time to tackle controversies face-to-face

A hefty debate on controversial issues in cardiology is the definite intent of Congress President Professor Michel Komajda and the ESC 2011 congress organisers. To that end, he plans to open the event with a focus on disagreements among cardiologists over treatment methods. This is not the only promise of a lively meeting for congress participants, as Prof Komajda explained in conversation with…

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Papworth Hospital: A constant continuing success

Recent events have again underlined the reason why Papworth Hospital in ambridgeshire, England, maintains a enowned international reputation for cardiac and thoracic procedures. As Britains largest specialist cardiothoracic hospitals, over 2,000 major heart operations were performed there in 2010. In the year ending 1 April 2011, 824 patients had coronary bypass operations, including urgent,…

Investigating treatment options for atrial fibrillation

The first patient has been enrolled for the largest pan-European study to determine whether an early comprehensive rhythm control strategy for the treatment of atrial fibrillation (AF) will benefit patients. Patients with recent-onset AF at risk for stroke or death are eligible for the trial. The researchers plan to enrol more than 3,000 patients from 200 centres in 11 European countries.

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When overweight kids become heart condition adults

A modern-day childhood totally differs from what was common just a few decades ago. It is mostly spent sitting -- at school desks, in front of TV screens or before computer monitors – all combined with the sweet temptations of the kid’s food industry. According to a WHO worldwide estimate, an estimated 10% of school-age children between five and 17 years old are overweight or obese. The…

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Siemens Fully Automated ADVIA Centaur Syphilis Assay Receives CE Marketing Approval

Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics announced today that its ADVIA Centaur® Syphilis Assay1 for the detection of antibodies against Treponema pallidum, a bacterium known to cause the sexually-transmitted disease, syphilis, has been CE-marked. Now, laboratories outside the United States can equip themselves with a new testing tool for this serious condition and drive additional workflow and efficiency…

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New MRI methodology revolutionizes imaging of the beating heart

Scientists of the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the Max-Delbrück-Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch have developed a highly efficient approach for imaging the beating human heart. The images produced in one of the world's most powerful MRI systems whose power is equivalent to 150.000 times the earth’s magnetic field are of a much higher detail than cardiac images…

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Treatment options for atrial fibrillation to prevent a stroke

Neurocardiology – especially atrial fibrillation (AF) – was the key topic during a press conference held during the 55th Annual Congress of the Germany Society for Clinical Neurophysiology and Functional Imaging (DGKN) this March. For good reason: Worldwide, there are around six million AF sufferers -- and it is one of the most common causes of stroke because this cardiac irregularity can…

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When the heart gives up

This April the 77th Annual Meeting of the German Cardiac Society (DGK) presented over 300 events with 1,800 speakers, covering the entire spectrum of cardiovascular diseases, from fundamental research to clinical routine. Professor Gerd Hasenfuss, Director of the Department of Cardiology and Pulmonology and Chair of the Heart Research Centre in Gottingen, particularly requested a focus on …

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Catheter-based valve surgery

Transcatheter valve implants (TAVI) have encouraged a new group of patients. Previously inoperable, they may now receive adequate treatment. Some centres report a success rate close to the conventional open surgical procedure. Naturally, the long-term outcome is still unclear. Holger Zorn reports.

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Imaging for diabetes and vascular occlusive disease

Metabolic syndrome, diabetes and vascular disease: What do we need to know? During ECR session this important question is addressed by vascular specialist Professor Erich Minar, Assistant Head of the Department of Angiology at the Vienna General Hospital (AKH), President of the Austrian Society of Angiology, and scientific researcher working closely with research centres in the USA.

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Integration to combat diabetes

To face the national and worldwide increase in diabetes mellitus cases, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research initiated the foundation of the German Centre for Diabetes Research (DZD), aiming to improve basic research, prevention, diagnostic and therapy of diabetes. Inaugurated in Berlin a few months ago, the centre has five strategic partners.

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Obesity from the lab point of view

Over the last 25 years overweight and obesity have become a global epidemic. According to WHO figures, at least 400 million adults are obese worldwide. Part of this phenomenon relates to lifestyle changes - lack of exercise, wrong eating habits - whereas genetic factors also play a role (according to twin studies, the determination of obesity is 70% nature and 30% nurture).

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Countdown to Paris

With its spotlight theme of ‘Controversial Issues in Cardiology’, the 2011 edition of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Congress promises lively discussions and ground-breaking debate. The ESC Congress is well established as the world’s premier cardiovascular conference and regularly attracts around 30,000 international cardiologists and members of related professions through its…

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Advancing POC diagnostics

Improvements in microfluidics and detection technologies are beginning to expand the range of point-of-care diagnostics beyond simple blood chemistry tests to sophisticated immuno-assays and molecular diagnostics. Though yet to see much adoption in European hospitals, these point-of-care (POC) diagnostics are coming into use in the USA, initially in emergency rooms and ICUs where fast results are…

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When and how should we start insulin?

Innumerable studies (e.g. Ceriello A., et. al. 2006) have shown that postprandial hyperglycaemia is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD) in all populations. In diabetics, according to IDF figures, CVD is even the major cause of death (some 50 % of all diabetes fatalities) and much disability. ‘Therefore, the primary goal in diabetes treatment should be not only lowering…

Transcatheter aortic valve implants bear risks

Every year thousands of patients with less than one year to live are denied a heart valve replacement because they are too frail to undergo surgery. These patients tend to be over 75 years of age and suffering from multiple health problems, such as respiratory conditions that preclude general anaesthesia, end-stage failure of liver or kidneys, or a history of coronary surgery. Two years ago they…

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2010 European Summit on CVD Prevention review

"Some progress, but the big challenges remain". This was the verdict after the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) hosted the 2010 European Summit on CVD Prevention on 30 November. The summit was attended by a broad cross-section of medical experts, healthcare organisations, national societies, regulators and representatives from the European Union (EU). The aim of this bi-annual event is to…

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Europe's inconsistent use of device therapy in the prevention of sudden cardiac death

Even though the use of implantable devices for the treatment of heart failure and heart rhythm disturbances has increased enormously in Europe in recent years, there still remain large differences between countries. Indeed, a report last year in the European Journal of Heart Failure found that there is an underuse of devices in many of the European countries surveyed.(1) This is especially so in…

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Diabetics must lower their risk of CVD

Diabetics can face a five times increase in the risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD) than non-diabetics. This leads to a seven to ten year reduction in life expectancy and a higher probability of suffering a fatal heart attack. These sad statistics have prompted the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) to mark World Diabetes Day on 14 November by emphasising the simple measures that…

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MPR 3-D echocardiography

A cardiologist at a UK hospital has become the first in the world to develop a technique to ‘slice’ 3-D images of the heart into intricate sections using computer software. The method, devised by consultant congenital cardiologist Dr Joseph Vettukattil at Southampton General Hospital, is known as multiplane review (MPR) 3-D echocardiography. This allows cardiologists to identify heart defects…

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EASD 2010 review

7,000 people from 120 countries met in Stockholm this September to hear international experts discuss the progress, solutions and challenges of one of our greatest healthcare burdens. Prevention, self-monitoring, surgery, guidelines, economic problems, drug-safety, and co-morbidities – these are just a few of the problems associated with the care of about 55 million diabetics in Europe.

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Fighting acute coronary syndrome

Today in most countries of the world almost 50 % of patients in hospital for a cardiac condition began their treatment as emergency cases: chest pain at home . . . a cardiac arrest in the street. Thus, according to Dr Peter Clemmensen, of the 22 million hospital admissions in Europe each year for acute cardiac events, more than 10 million of them would have begun as an emergency and without…

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Cardio-Thoracic Center of Monaco is the first Siemens European Reference Center Cardiovascular Medicine

Siemens Healthcare and the Cardio-Thoracic Center of Monaco (CCM) signed a partnership contract in Monaco. Within the framework of this contract, CCM was nominated the first “Siemens European Reference Center Cardiovascular Medicine". The strategic partnership is dedicated to the entire spectrum of cardiovascular medicine with the objective to develop innovative solutions for the treatment…

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Colder days raise the risk of more heart attacks

In the light of global climate change, the relations between weather and health are of increasing interest. A drop in the average temperature outside is linked to a higher risk of people having heart attacks, according to a new study published on bmj.com today. UK researchers found that each 1°C reduction in temperature on a single day is associated with around 200 extra heart attacks.

AACC 2010

California, USA: 20,000 visitors and 700 manufacturers showing products in almost 2000 booths at the American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC) annual meeting (July 5-29, 2010) underlined the importance of this, the world’s largest gathering of clinical laboratory professionals.

Deadly disease, dismal summary

Recently, the prevalence of diabetes mellitus in the Czech Republic reached 7-8% (783,321 diabetics were treated last year – 419,362 females and 363,959 males) but this figure leaps to 25-30% for diabetes related hospitalisations.

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The Heinz Nixdorf Recall Study

Initiated in 1999, the Heinz Nixdorf Recall Study involved 4,814 European participants. The results proved, for the first time, the connection between coronary calcifications and the risk of heart attack, according to scientists at the University Hospital in Essen. The finding by no means exhausted the potential inherent in the surveys. Subsidised until 2013, researchers are examining coronary…

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Heart in hand

Surgeon Alain Carpentier is ready to remove a patient’s heart and replace it with a mechanical device he spent 15 years developing. By 2013 the procedure will be performed on 50 European patients as part of a clinical trial to win CE approval for the world’s first fully implantable artificial heart.

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Picking up the pace

After years of go-slow adoption and cautious optimism, European cardiologists are now embracing remote monitoring of cardiac electrophysiology devices. ‘We are at the dawn of a new era,’ concluded Dr Philippe Ritter, Chairman of the Cardiostim 2010 congress, after reviewing findings of studies that delivered unequivocal evidence that remote monitoring is not only a safe alternative to clinic…

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New perspectives in coronary plaque imaging using dual source CT

Ongoing technical developments in computed tomography (CT) such as dual source CT have established coronary CT angiography (cCTA) as a robust non-invasive imaging test for the assessment of coronary artery disease. The most important advantage of cCTA over conventional catheter-based coronary angiography is that not only the coronary lumen but also the entire coronary artery wall is visualized…

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Multi-modality imaging in coronary artery disease

The focus on Coronary artery disease – from genes to outcomes at ESC 2010 underlines the importance of CAD diagnosis on the scientific agenda. During the session ‘Multi modality imaging to detect coronary artery disease’, chaired by Professor JJ Bax, of the Cardiology Department at Leiden University Medical Centre, the Netherlands, experts will discuss, for example, the advantages of the…

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Cardiac Biomarkers

When in 1992 Dr Luigi Marzio Biasucci, head of the Sub-intensive Care Unit at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Rome, Italy, published with his team the first paper on C-reactive protein (CRP) in unstable angina, few people believed in the diagnostic power of biochemical features to measure the effects or progress of disease, illness, or a condition. Today, biomarker tests are part…

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Stiff heart - The ‘stepchild’ of cardiology

Patients with heart failure with normal ejection fraction (HFNEF) also referred to as ‘stiff heart’, show a normal ejection fraction and severe diastolic dysfunction. President of the Austrian Society of Cardiology, Professor Irene Lang warns: ‘It is particularly concerning that stiff heart is a little known and insufficiently researched cardiac condition -- a stepchild in research,…

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Getting to the heart of things

Not only is heart failure one of the single biggest causes of morbidity and mortality in man, but the incidence of the condition is steadily increasing. Rising to this challenge, innovative medical diagnostic techniques with ever greater performance are constantly being introduced so that early, unambiguous detection of the underlying condition is now possible, enabling the prompt initiation of…

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It’s time for Stockholm!

Five days at ESC 2010, the world’s biggest international cardiology meeting -- with the Spotlight 2010 strongly focused on "Coronary Artery Disease: From Genes To Outcomes", but yes, so much more, too. This year’s programme is based on 4167 abstracts selected from more than 9,500 submissions, as well as over 120 Hotline and Clinical Trial Update presentations. From these, 35 Hotline sessions…

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Diabetes doubles CVD risk

A team led by UK-based researchers has found that having diabetes doubles the risk of developing a wide range of blood vessel diseases, including heart attacks and different types of stroke. The consortium, headed by Dr Nadeem Sarwar and Professor John Danesh of the University of Cambridge, analysed data from the individual records on 700,000 people, each of whom was monitored for about a decade…

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Coming soon: MEDICA 2010

Looking ahead to MEDICA 2010 (17 to 20 November) the signs are good. The high number of registrations is a sign of optimism in the medical technology industry and the number of exhibitors has already seen a significant increase in comparison to last year. With six months left to go until the fair begins, some 115,000 square metres of exhibition space had already been booked.

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Postprandial blood glucose

The daily management of diabetes mellitus is a complex interaction between blood glucose measuring, lifestyle aspects and drug therapy. Large epidemiological trials such as UKPDS (United Kingdom Diabetes Prospective Study) have shown that an optimal blood glucose adjustment has beneficial long-term effects on type-2 diabetics’ risk of micro- and macrovascular secondary complications.

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Achieving HbA1c target values

An adequate blood glucose level (4–7 mmol/l) is important not only for a diabetic’s daily well-being but also to prevent diabetes-related illnesses. HbA1c is the central marker to evaluate the success of diabetes management. But HbA1c measurement has a crucial limitation: current blood glucose fluctuations are not taken into consideration. However, the recognition of steep post-prandial blood…

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The Renewing Health European project

Renewing Health is the Veneto Region’s response to the third Call of Proposals by the European Information Communication Technology Policy Support Programme (ICT-PSP). The project, which falls under the ICT-PSP financing plans, aims to facilitate the use of ICT-based solutions and services for citizens, the government, and businesses, as well as aiding their diffusion throughout Europe.

Patient monitoring devices

In 2009, the continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) market earned manufacturers $23.5; this is forecast to reach $52.0 million in 2016, according to a new analysis from Frost and Sullivan (F&S). For the study the markets covered by region are Benelux, Germany, France, Italy, Scandinavia, Spain and the United Kingdom.

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Neurological diseases on the rise

„Diseases of the nervous system and the brain occur more frequently than cancer. According to recent calculations of health care costs, they represent a burden of 386 billion euros a year on European economies,“ says Prof. Gérard Said, newly elected president of the European Neurological Society (ENS) at the annual meeting in Berlin, Germany. „This is often greatly underestimated.“

New twelve-month data for Nevo stent

At 12 months the NEVO Sirolimus-eluting Coronary Stent has continued to demonstrate excellent safety and efficacy outcomes compared to Taxus Liberte according to new data presented today from the NEVO RES-I clinical trial. These results were presented as a late breaking trial at EuroPCR, the leading medical conference in Europe for physicians specializing in interventional cardiovascular…

Molecular imaging

Molecular imaging, the discipline that unites molecular biology and in vivo imaging technologies to assess biological activity in the body, promises to open up ‘…an entire new universe,’ declared Dr Ralph Weissleder, of the Centre for Molecular Imaging Research at Massachusetts General Hospital, USA, in the journal Radiology. That was just one decade ago. And he was right. It has indeed…

What´s hot in cardiology?

Hot topics to be covered during the EuroPCR Forum sessions are the challenging implementation of the best standard of care for STEMI patients throughout Europe (with the timely use of stents), the introduction of transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) in clinical practice and the challenges related to bifurcation treatment options.

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EuroPCR 2010

The cardiovascular community gathers in Paris May 25th-28th for EuroPCR. EuroPCR is the leading course in interventional cardiology. It is also the official congress of the European Association of Percutaneous Cardiovascular Interventions (EAPCI). More than 12,000 participants will learn about the latest developments in the field and engage in discussions and constructive debate about the best…

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Spotlight on the AACC Annual Meeting 2010

The American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC) is holding its 2010 Annual Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo July 25 - 29 at the Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim, CA. This year’s AACC Expo promises to be the largest, most comprehensive yet, featuring nearly 700 vendors showing the latest technology and products for every aspect in clinical laboratory testing.

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Serving and improving Middle East healthcare

The 2nd Hospital Build Middle East Exhibition & Congress (1-3 June. Dubai) aims to draw together the investors, commissioners, backers and managers of major healthcare building projects, as well as suppliers of services in planning, design, building, operations, management and refurbishment.

Causes of death in AIDS patients

New research from the University of Bristol and a large group of international collaborators shows that Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) continues to dramatically reduce rates of mortality from HIV infection in high-income countries, such that non-AIDS-related deaths exceed AIDS deaths after approximately four years of taking ART.

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Radiology and Management

Professor Jörg F. Debatin, MD MBA, Medical Director and Chairman of the Board of University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) opened the session with his presentation “The role of radiology in the strategic planning of medical centres”. He discussed possibilities to effectively explore the hidden potential of diagnostic radiology services.

New cancer therapy to fight cardiovascular diseases?

New drugs that are helping fight a multi-front war on cancer may do the same for cardiovascular disease, Medical College of Georgia researchers said. Cancer and cardiovascular disease, both among top U.S. killers, share inflammation as a cause. Heat shock protein 90 inhibitors as a treatment could become additional common ground, said Dr. John Catravas, director of MCG's Vascular Biology Center.

Mapping heart diseases

Though heart disease is a major cause of disability and death, very little is understood about its genetic underpinnings. Recently, an international team of investigators at the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (IMBA), Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (Sanford-Burnham) and other organizations shed new light on the subject. Studying Drosophila…

Imaging technique useful for planning cardiac procedures

For a patient with heart failure, checking whether the heart could benefit from bypass surgery or a stent is critical to ensuring survival. One imaging technique, positron emission tomography (PET) with the imaging agent fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG), may provide doctors with the information they need to make more informed treatment decisions, according to research published in the April issue of The…

New approach to reduce dose

GE Healthcare is highlighting advanced solutions that drive the efficiency of diagnostic imaging at the European Congress of Radiology (ECR), 2010. Complementing the company’s ‘healthymagination’ initiative of reducing healthcare costs through timely care, GE Healthcare is highlighting a range of Computed Tomography (CT) imaging solutions including Adaptive Statistical Iterative…

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The European Network for Cell Imaging and Tracking Expertise (ENCITE)

Since June 2009, the focus of research in the European Network for Cell Imaging and Tracking Expertise (ENCITE) has been on finding biomarkers to aid cell transplantation. Funded with €11 million from the European Commission (EC), this major project that runs until 2013, involves 10 countries. Their work is coordinated by the European Institute for Biomedical Imaging Research (EIBIR) network,…

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Molecular imaging in clinical practice

Over the past decades new imaging technologies have substantially broadened the range of imaging applications in clinical medicine. For years anatomical imaging modalities, such as X-ray and CT, reveal high-resolution information of organs and tissues over extended imaging ranges. Lately, however, the idea of functional imaging e.g. the visualisation of physiology in vivo gains importance.

Exploring a new universe

Molecular imaging, the discipline that unites molecular biology and in vivo imaging technologies to assess biological activity in the body, promises to open up ‘…an entire new universe,’ declared Dr Ralph Weissleder, of the Centre for Molecular Imaging Research at Massachusetts General Hospital, USA, in the journal Radiology. That was just one decade ago. And he was right. It has indeed…

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Siemens showcases advanced ultrasound solutions

At the European Congress of Radiology (ECR) 2010 in Vienna, Siemens Healthcare presented its innovative ultrasound solutions. The highlight this year was the new release of its premium Acuson S2000 ultrasound system featuring significant advancements in ARFI technology (Acoustic Radiation Force Imaging) for the detection and quantification of tissue. Combined with a 3D breast volume scanner…

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Ultrasound device in pocket size

GE Healthcare presented Vscan, a new, pocket-sized visualization tool developed to provide physicians with imaging capabilities at the point-of-care. Roughly the size of a smart phone, Vscan houses powerful, ultra-smart ultrasound technology that provides clinicians with an immediate, non-invasive method to help secure visual information about what is happening inside the body. Vscan is portable…

Biomarker analysis market has excellent growth potential

The 'omics' revolution of the last decade has ensured that the field of biomarker research will test the frontiers of biomedical research in the coming years. Biomarkers have a multitude of applications such as early disease detection, identifying potential drug targets, predicting patient response to medication and accelerating clinical trials. Along with its role in making personalised medicine…

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IQ is strong predictor of cardiovascular disease

While lower intelligence scores have been associated with a raised risk of cardiovascular disease, no study has so far compared the relative strength of this association with other established risk factors such as obesity, smoking and high blood pressure. Now, a large study has found that lower intelligence scores were associated with higher rates of cardiovascular disease and total mortality at…

Endocrine Society: No change in blood sugar control goals

A study published this week in Lancet suggests that low A1C levels may be just as dangerous as high A1C levels in diabetes patients with respect to mortality and cardiovascular outcomes. Upon review of the study, The Endocrine Society released a statement recommending against any wholesale change in glycemic goals and strongly encourages patients to discuss these issues with their diabetes-care…

Epigenomics

The UK’s Babraham Institute, which conducts biomedical research, has established a ‘high throughput’ epigenomics sequencing facility to improve understanding of healthier ageing.

Different heart motions by age and gender revealed

Using a new noninvasive imaging technique, scientists said they have discovered important, fundamental differences in heart motion by age and gender. Their study - reported in Circulation: Cardiovascular Imaging, a journal of the American Heart Association - is the first to provide gender- and age-specific data on the motions of the normal heart based on a regional analysis of myocardial…

Imaging and computing power leading to breakthroughs for cardiac surgery

Two members of the Heart Center at the University of Leipzig teamed up during Medica for a tour de force presentation on Future Trends in Cardiac Surgery. "The aim of the game is opening the chest through little keyholes to operate in the most minimally invasive way possible and avoid sternotomy," said Prof. Friedrich Mohr, Program Director at the Leipzig Heart Center, who review new surgical…

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Monitoring CHF patients

Close monitoring of vital signs such as ECG, BP and body weight are vital for many patients suffering cardiovascular disease. MyHeart, an integrated project involving 10 EU Member States, aims to produce better devices and better parameters than currently available, i.e. traditional sensor systems with digital upgrades. The ongoing clinical study has involved six European academic centres and 200…

Safeguarding the future of MRI

Europe holds a leading position in the research and development of MRI, which has been used for over 25 years, imaging up to 500 million patients without evidence of harm to workers due to EMF exposure. It is also well known that MRI is free from health risks associated with ionising radiation such as X-rays, in many situations the alternative to MRI

Taking part in clinical trials is good for health

Patients with chronic heart failure who agree to take part in clinical trials have a better prognosis than those who do not, according to a study reported in the November European Journal of Heart Failure. The finding, say the authors, may even call into question the commonplace ethical requirement of most clinical trials that by choosing not to take part in the study a patient will not be…

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World Stroke Day 2009: Learning the risks for stroke - and taking action

Stroke accounts for almost 6 million deaths each year and ranks second only to heart disease as the world's leading cause of death. The theme of this year's World Stroke Day on 29th October is "What can I do?". As the World Stroke Organization says, everyone can do something: learn to recognise symptoms and take action, learn to recognise the risk factors and take action.

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Cigarettes on Sale on the Internet

The European Society of Cardiology comments on media reports last week that France is preparing to authorise the sale of cigarettes on the internet, to conform to European rights. Although Budget Minister Eric Woerth denies that this is the intention, the news is disappointing given the drop in heart attack rates following last year´s smoking ban.

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The role of exercise training in cardiovascular health

Western societies are struggling to pay for their ever increasing medical budgets. In the US up to 393 billion US-$ were spent in 2005 for cardiovascular diseases alone. Based on epidemiologic studies in primary prevention it is reasonable to estimate that 30% of coronary heart disease and stroke could be prevented by 2.5 hours of brisk walking per week.

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From cell to man to society

"We have taken particular care in organising the ESC Congress, as we are aware of the stringent competition with other congresses in the light of economic difficulties" ,said Professor Roberto Ferrari, this year´s Congress President. The result is that there will be 500 hours of ESC peer sessions, over 100 hours of industry sessions, accreditation by the European Board for Accreditation in…

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Mitral regurgitation

A pioneering new treatment to repair leaking heart valves is being performed at a UK hospital as part of a clinical research trial. The minimally-invasive procedure to treat mitral regurgitation involves surgeons passing a device through a vein in the neck and into a patient's heart.

Validation of the value of cardiovascular MR

After two years of intensive work the results from the German pilot phase of the EuroCMR Register are due to be published in the forthcoming issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology*, and also presented and discussed in detail at this year's ECR in Barcelona.

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Cardiovascular research

As Professor Valentin Fuster pointed out this year, the Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares (CNIC) is now a splendid reality thanks to the support of the Ministerio de Ciencia y Tecnología and the Instituto de Salud Carlos III institutions on which, now and for the future, it depends. Along with that public sector backing, CNIC will also receive civil support from the ProCNIC…

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www.heartfailurematters.org

Since 2007, when a special public information website was set up by the Heart Failure Association (HFA) of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) intended to help heart failure (HF) patients, their families and carers by offering a broad range of information, reassurance and support, www.heartfailurematters.org has gained even greater international presence and use in the last 18 months, Mark…

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CARDIOVIT CS-200 - new design and additional features

CS-200: SCHILLER´s complete Diagnostic Solution has been redesigned, offering now even more added value. Discreet but important external modifications encompass a large, swivel-mounted 19`` monitor, as well as an ergonomic design. A new, simplified user-interface as well as various new holders and mounting kits for external devices such as gel bottles, bar code scanners, spirometry sensors and…

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Big disparities in the treatment of arrhythmias across Europe

The latest statistics regarding the use of pacemakers and implantable cardiac devices in Europe was presented at EUROPACE 2009, the meeting of the European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA)1 which takes place in Berlin, Germany from 21 to 24 June. The data show that there is a disparate coverage of diseases and treatments within the EU and the European Society of Cardiology member countries outside…

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Telehealth interventions help cardiac patients

The use of phone and internet between patients and healthcare providers is an effective way to reduce risk factors for coronary heart disease and the risk of further events after a heart attack, according to new research published in June issue of the European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention & Rehabilitation.

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Met at KIMES

During KIMES, Karoline Laarmann (European Hospital) met with Joong-Ho Lee, Senior Executive Vice President of the ultrasound systems manufacturer MEDISON, the Korean firm that entered the ultrasound market in the 1980s and quickly established a global reputation for innovative developments (e.g. the firm produced the first commercial real-time 3-D ultrasound scanner).

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Non surgical mitral valve repair: First enrollment in ACCESS-Europe study

Evalve, Inc., the leader in the development of devices for the percutaneous repair of cardiac valves, announced the first enrollment in the ACCESS-Europe study, a post-market observational study of the MitraClip therapy in Europe. The system is the first commercially available treatment option for non-surgical mitral valve repair for patients suffering from the effects of functional and…

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The summit of science

For this year's ECR president, Professor Borut Marincek, there could be no more apt motto for the event than The Summit of Science. ‘Over the last 20 years, imaging procedures, particularly radiology, have revolutionised healthcare. At the same time, radiology as a high-tech discipline is dependent on an increased natural scientific and technological knowledge. Therefore, the objective is to…

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GE's new Discovery PET/CT 600 scanners go global

GE Healthcare's first Discovery PET/CT 600-series scanners are being installed in a number of leading clinics around the world. "This first set of installations is a big step forward in the diagnosis and monitoring of disease", said Terri Bresenham, newly appointed vice- president and general manager of GE Healthcare's global Molecular Imaging business.

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Cardiovascular MRI

The role of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to assess the effect of therapy in patients with acute myocardial infarction was demonstrated in a series of papers during the 12th Annual Scientific Sessions of the Society for Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance (SCMR), held in Orlando, Fla. USA (29 Jan - 1 Feb).

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Royal Philips Electronics leads Sonodrugs Project

Philips leads the €15.9 million project to develop image-guided localized drug delivery technologies that could significantly impact the treatment of cancer and cardiovascular disease. The goal is to maximize therapeutic efficiency and minimize side effects of treatments for cancer and cardiovascular disease. The hope is that this level of control will also provide a means of tailoring the…

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Genome Structural Variation Consortium used Roche technology

Roches NimbleGen´s CGH microarray platform was used to generate the highest-resolution map of human genome copy number variation. Recent advances in microarray technology have led to the discovery of extensive copy number variation in the human genome, including DNA copy number gains (duplications), losses (deletions), and multiallelic or complex rearrangements.

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Better management of complex arrhythmias

Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands and global company Bard Electrophysiology are starting a collaboration to develop new clinical tools for the work of electrophysiologists and lab staff. The ambitious goals are to improve the workflow with simpler and more intuitive approaches and to gain detailed visualization for interventions within the heart's electrical circuitry.

Cold winter months increase risk of hypertension

The colder the weather, the greater the increase in blood pressure in the elderly population - to this conclusion comes a French study from Bordeaux, Dijon and Montpellier. The authors recommend to improve the blood pressure management in the elderly when outdoor temperature is very low by close monitoring of blood pressure and antihypertensive medication.

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Vielversprechende Forschungsergebnisse zu Herz-Kreislauf-Erkrankungen

Das Center for Cardiovaskular Research (CCR) an der Berliner Charité konnte sich durch vielseitige Grundlagenforschung über die deutschen Landesgrenzen hinaus bereits einen Namen machen. Nun stellt das CCR in einem aktuellen Zwischen- bericht unter anderem vielversprechende Ent- wicklungen einer neuen Medikamentenklasse bei Endorganschäden und die Erforschung der Blutgefäßbildung bei…

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Stress echocardiography

'I was very surprised!' said cardiologist Dr Maria Prokudina, of the Almazof Federal Centre of Heart, Blood and Endocrinology, when invited by Professor John Elefteriades MD, head of Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Yale-New Haven Hospital (University School of Medicine) to lecture about Stress Echocardiography in Clinical Practice.

CHD symptoms

Coronary heart disease (CHD) symptoms, presented in the context of a stressful life event, were identified as psychogenic when presented by women and organic when presented by men, which could help explain why there is often a delay in the assessment of women with CHD, according to research presented at the 20th annual Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT) conference.

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MEDICA 2008 opens its doors

When from 19 to 22 November the world's largest medical fair takes place in Dusseldorf, the entire city is in a kind of emergency state: hotels are bustin' out of their seams, traffic periodically comes to a standstill and at night exhibitors and visitors alike crowd the narrow streets of the Altstadt and the fancy hotel bars and enjoy whatever entertainment North Rhine-Westphalia's capital has…

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New concepts for dose reduction in the diagnosis of coronary heart disease with CT

Professor Stefan Schönberg of the Institute of Clinical Radiology and Nuclear Medicine (IKRN), University Hospital Mannheim, Medical Faculty of Mannheim, University of Heidelberg, invited colleagues from Mannheim and the Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BFS) in Neuherberg for a round-table discussion on: Non-invasive multidetector coronary CT angiography (CTA) has become an established…

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EVINCI

The European multi-centre, multi-modality cardiac imaging project that could lead to a more intelligent and less costly use of today's technology in cardiac care.

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Research to prolong the retention time in the blood

The University of Urbino and Philips Research will jointly research the encapsulation of magnetic nanoparticle contrast agents inside living blood cells to prolong the retention time of these agents in the blood. Injected as free particles, magnetic nanoparticle contrast agents are quickly excreted from the blood via the patient's liver, which limits their application.

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Tasty and healthy food against chronic diseases

Now it seems to be proven: The reason why people in Mediterranean countries live longer and healthier can be connected with their nutrition. Researchers in Italy found that sticking rigidly to a full Mediterranean diet can help reduce deaths from major chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease.

Eat Mediterranean to stay healthy

Mediterranean diet protects against chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease. Italian scientists bolstering one more time the idea that low intake of meat, dairy products and alcohol, but high intake of vegetables, fruits, nuts, olive oil, grains and fish servers as a model of healthy eating, according to a study in the British Medical Journal.

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Diabetes: an increasing threat to people and society

Approximately 31 million people in the European Union are suffering from diabetes, a devastating disease with severe consequences for patients and their families, but also for the society at large and the economic prosperity of Europe. This week EH Online will focus on innovative strategies in diabetes care and on new management systems to support physicians and patients alike. Moreover, we will…

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Tablets for the people?

Last week the English government closed its consultation on the effectiveness of vascular checks for high-risk people aged 40-74. Would this help? Experts from New Zealand and the WHO say "yes". Others argue that public health approaches targeting the whole population are both: cheaper and more effective than tablets.

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A sad mood causes a bad heart

The common parlance knew it long before experts paid attention to it: a persons mood can be associated to its heart. But indeed in recent years much attention has been spend to depression following heart attack and its effects on prognosis. On the Congress of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) two Dutch studies have been introduced indicating that especially somatic and incident depression…

Depression and Heart Disease

Two Dutch studies indicate that especially somatic and incident depressions are associated with poor prognosis in cardiac patients, which is very different from the 'typical' psychiatric depression that is usually characterised by cognitive and recurrent depressive symtoms.

Spotlight Cholesterol: the role of diet, statins and genetics

The inverse epidemiological association between serum levels of HDL-C and risk of coronary artery disease (CAD) is graded and has been validated in multiple studies. However, there is remaining controversy whether a low HDL-C should not predominantly be considered a marker of poor lifestyle (obesity, lack of exercise, hypertriglyceridemia, diet, etc.), rather than a primary causal agent for…

Primary prevention of CVD: Challenges and Achievements

Lifestyle and risk factor results show that recommended scientific guidelines form a contrast to what is achieved in daily practice in high risk individuals in primary prevention of CVD. Together with its partners the ESC demands a comprehensive and multisdicplinary primary prevention programme involving the high-risk population, their GP's and other health professionals, a health insurance…

Winners of media prize announced

The International Chair on Cardiometabolic Risk (ICCR) is pleased to announce the three winners of the European Media Prize co-sponsored by the ICCR and the Association of European Journalists (AEJ) and launched in November 2007 to reward articles that best inform readers about a growing public health issue: abdominal obesity and related risk of cardiovascular disease.

How save are antiangiogenic and anti-inflammatory drugs really?

Since Rofecoxib (Vioxx) was withdrawn from the worldwide market based on the safety findings of the Adenomatous Polyp Prevention on Vioxx (APPROVe) study, the uncertainty around the cardiovascular safety of NSAIDs and COX-2 inhibitors remains and leaves practitioners with difficult management decisions for the hundreds of millions of patients worldwide who continue to require pain-relieving…

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Childhood obesity

Recent studies have shown that overweight and obesity during childhood and adolescence have a negative impact on the functioning of the internal walls of the arteries, paving the way to the development of an arteriosclerotic disease from an increasingly early age.

Atrial fibrillation

Seeking to set the agenda for urgent atrial fibrillation (AF) research, European and international cardiologists will gather this October at the European Heart House, in Sophia Antipolis, the headquarters of the European Society of Cardiology.

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SYNCOPE Diagnosis and therapy

The diagnostic work-up of syncope patients often raises the question of how much diagnosis is necessary and what examination methods are really needed. To save time, specialists recommend focusing on determining whether the syncope may be caused by a cardiac problem - a question answered quite easily in many cases. Karl Eberius MD, European Hospital's new correspondent, discussed advice for…

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Hypertension worldwide

Countries vary widely in their capacity to manage hypertension, but globally the majority of diagnosed hypertensives is inadequately controlled. Not treated it can cause cardiovascular disease (CVD), myocardial infarction and stroke. According to the WHO, hypertension is estimated to cause 4.5% of the current global disease burden and is as prevalent in many developing countries as in the…

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Hot topic cardiovascular imaging

Every summer the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) holds Europe's biggest annual meeting of specialists in cardiovascular medicine, inviting and drawing in top international medical professionals. Karoline Laarmann asked Professor Kim Fox, President of the European Society of Cardiology and Consultant Cardiologist at the Royal Brompton Hospital, and professor of clinical cardiology at Imperial…

CVD specialists meet footballers

The world's first symposium on the molecular analysis of sudden death syndrome (SDS) among athletes drew in leading cardiovascular researchers and several top Spanish footballers. Sponsored by Applied Biosystems, and held in the Madrid's Hospital Clinico San Carolos, the I Symposium de Prevención en el Futbol aims to initiate the development of new tests to identify sports players at SDS risk.

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Cardiology

Implantable cardiac monitors

Syncope (fainting) is a leading cause of hospital emergency visits. In almost 10% of patients, syncope has a cardiac cause; in 50%, a non-cardiac cause, and in 40% the cause of syncope is unknown. Syncope is difficult to diagnose as syncopal episodes are often too infrequent and unpredictable for detection with conventional monitoring techniques.

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Arrays to detect genomic disorder

Roche reports that, using its NimbleGen CGH arrays, researchers* have identified a recurrent reciprocal genomic rearrangement of chromosomal region 17q12 in foetal samples with congenital anomalies that is also associated with paediatric renal disease and epilepsy.

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High-res cardiac images available at peak stress

While treadmill exercise stress testing is essential to detect cardiovascular disease, gaining clear cardiac images at peak stress level are not easy to gain using standard testing procedures. Now, however, researchers at the Ohio State University Medical Centre have designed equipment to provide high-resolution cardiac images at a critical testing stage, with results in under one hour.

New Molecular Imaging Techniques Aim at Detection of Earliest Steps of Disease Development

An emerging discipline of noninvasive cardiac imaging, molecular imaging, has evolved constantly in the last few years and is increasingly being translated from the preclinical to the clinical level. Molecular imaging allows for unique insights into specific disease mechanisms and holds great promise to change the practice of cardiovascular medicine by facilitating early disease detection,…

Foetal surgery

Almost 25 years ago Michael Harrison of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) operated on the bladder of an unborn child. Almost eight years later, surgery was carried out on the diaphragm of an unborn child. His approach was controversial: a paediatric surgeon opened the abdomen and uterus of the pregnant woman, lifted out the foetus, performed the surgery and returned the foetus to…

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Stroke prevention

Ultrasound brings many advantages, but trained sonographers are too few

What is the role of vascular ultrasound in stroke prevention? Asked by Karoline Laarmann of European Hospital, Professor Christian Arning MD, Medical Director of the Neurology Department at Asklepios Klinik Wandsbek, Germany, and Deputy Chairman of the German Society of Ultrasound in Medicine (DEGUM), gave an unequivocal answer: crucial - but only if the sonographer is properly qualified.

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Always under doctor's control

A pressure sensor that is implanted into the heart works with an electronic monitoring system that wirelessly measures patient's pulmonary artery pressure. It allows physicians to track the patient's pulmonary artery pressure while they remain at home

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Green tea is an affair of heart

Not only for green tea fanciers. A recent study published in the European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation shows that drinking green tea improves the function of cells lining the vascular system and therefore protect vessels from atherosclerosis, reported the European Society of Cardiology.

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The 2nd National Russian Radiology Congress

Drawing together radiologists from all of Russia is a challenge - even more surprising is meeting the president of the European Congress of Radiology (ECR) and other well-known radiologists from the rest of Europe writes Meike Lerner, of European Hospital, who was at the 2nd National Russian Radiology Congress held in Moscow this May, to report on the hot topics in radiology over the eastern…

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Trends in image-guided therapy

For the third in his series of articles for European Hospital, Professor Stefan Schönberg of the Institute of Clinical Radiology and Nuclear Medicine (IKRN), University Hospital Mannheim, Medical Faculty of Mannheim, University of Heidelberg, invited colleagues at the Faculty's Cardiology and Radiology and Nuclear Medicine departments for a round-table discussion on:

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Philips to acquire Tomcat Systems

Royal Philips Electronics recently announced it will acquire TOMCAT Systems Ltd., based in Northern Ireland. Terms of this acquisition were not disclosed. TOMCAT offers a software solution to collect and aggregate data relative to the cardiac care of patients, and allows for a comprehensive, patient-centric presentation of this data to care givers such as doctors and nurses.

Further reports from the ACC 57th Scientific Session

A five-year study of 516 participants with coronary artery disease showed that patients who reduced their anxiety levels or kept them steady were 60% less likely to have a heart attack or die compared with those who had increased anxiety levels.

Diabetics and drug-eluting stents

Boston Scientific Corporation has announced results from a pooled analysis of patients from its TAXUS IV and TAXUS V randomised clinical trials to compare the safety and efficacy of the TAXUS Express Paclitaxel-Eluting Coronary Stent System in diabetic versus non-diabetic patients.

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Obese patients in radiology - XXL challenges

Radiological services and equipment are not yet adapted to obese patients. The accuracy of current MRI, CT and Ultrasound is hindered by subcutaneous and intraabdominal fat. These modalities are crucial in diagnosing pathologies associated with obesity, including heart-related disease. Optimising imaging modalities will be a major challenge for radiology.

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The contribution of the anaesthesiologist

Since its early beginnings in Europe, during the polio epidemics of the 1950s, intensive care medicine has grown to become a specialty in its own right and the intensive care unit (ICU) occupies an increasingly important position in every hospital. Intensive care doctors are responsible for the management of very sick patients often with multiple and complex disease processes, and ICUs are now…

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Type 2 diabetes driving epidemic

Type 2 diabetes poses one of the greatest public health threats of the 21st century. The majority of the western world is in the grips of a diabetes epidemic driven by type 2 diabetes that goes hand in hand with the escalating incidence of obesity. Alarmingly, in some working class and poor communities, the disease is so prevalent that its victims almost take it as a matter of course.

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Merger Agreement between MEDRAD and Possis Medical

As announced today, MEDRAD, an affiliate of Bayer HealthCare and a leading provider of contrast injection systems used to diagnose cardiovascular disease, has entered into a definitive merger agreement with Possis Medical, leading provider of mechanical thrombectomy devices used to treat narrowed or blocked blood vessels. MEDRAD will acquire Possis Medical in a cash tender offer for US-Dollar…

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Mummy Research at the University of Zurich

A Swiss-German research team under the supervision of Dr. Dr. Frank Rühli of the Institute of Anatomy, University of Zurich, Switzerland, reports a milestone in medico-diagnostic research of ancient mummies. For the first time ever worldwide, high-quality images of intact historic mummies were achieved through magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) without prior destructive rehydration of the…

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Osteoporosis test to predict Heart Attacks

According to a recently published study in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, a vertebral fracture assessment (VFA) examination can be used to measure abdominal aortic calcification (AAC). The level of AAC can predict the likelihood of myocardial infarction as well as stroke among elderly women, independent of other clinical risk factors.

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Pulse oximetry - screening tool in newborn babies

A research carried out at six hospitals in the West Midlands, UK, is evaluating the use of pulse oximetry as a screening tool for congenital heart disease in newborn babies. Approximately three percent of infant deaths are caused by these significant heart defects and at the moment only less than half of the affected babies are identified by clinical examination, the current screening technique.

The optical biopsy: Coming into view?

A British collaboration has secured £325,000 (?460,000) of government backing to develop an in vivo optical imaging probe for diagnostic and therapeutic applications in oncology. The long-term objective is to use optical coherence tomography (OCT), an interferometric imaging modality, to perform real-time diagnosis and to guide the removal of cancerous or precancerous tissue during the same…

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Determining vascular age

New to the Siemens Medical Solutions portfolio of ultrasound applications is the syngo Arterial Health Package (AHP), which calculates cardiovascular risks by measuring carotid intima media thickness and determining the relative `vascular age´ of the vessel. Using this, along with, for example, cholesterol values and blood pressure, a physician can better assess a patient's myocardial or…

Starving a tumour

Every developing tissue is supplied by blood vessels with oxygen and nutrients. Tumours grow far more quickly than normal tissues, so have a greater need of nutrients, which is why tumour cells begin to produce growth factors that stimulate the formation of blood vessels.

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Magnetic Field Imaging improves cardiac diagnostics

Magnetic Field Imaging (MFI) provides cardiologists with an additional tool to detect arrythmia and irregular cardiac blood flow and thus contributes to a more precise diagnosis. While an ECG acquires electric signals produced by the activity of the cardiac muscle, MFI measures the electrophysical function of the heart by determining the magnetic field during a heartbeat.

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Magnetic Field Imaging improves cardiac diagnostics

Magnetic Field Imaging (MFI) provides cardiologists with an additional tool to detect arrythmia and irregular cardiac blood flow and thus contributes to a more precise diagnosis. While an ECG acquires electric signals produced by the activity of the cardiac muscle, MFI measures the electrophysical function of the heart by determining the magnetic field during a heartbeat.

Use that toothbrush!

Since the 1950s, the American Heart Association (AHA) has urged a large number of people to take antibiotics before dental work or other procedures that could flood the bloodstream with bacteria. This antibiotic intake was thought to prevent infective endocarditis.

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The most useful EU-supported venture

The Eastern Lithuania Cardiology Project (ELCP) - an integral inter-institutional regional project sponsored by the Lithuanian Government and the European Structural Funds, which began in 2004 - will end this year. In May, those who voted on the Lithuanian EU Support official website (a specially organised event, focusing on all EU-supported projects in all fields) nominated this project as the…

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Seeking biomarkers

The term 'molecular medicine' has quickly become synonymous with brilliantly revealing images produced by innovative imaging techniques, new biomarkers and contrast agents. At Merck Research Laboratories (MRL) a team of researchers led by Dr Andrew Plump, the firm's Executive Director and Cardiovascular Disease Franchise Integrator, are seeking biomarkers for CVDs, and co-operating with Philips…

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The healing environment

The healing environment approach is a comprehensive concept targeting the elimination of stress factors for patients as well as their visitors that would otherwise minimise patient's wellbeing, impair the healing process, or even violate their dignity/privacy.

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Hot Spots:

A next-generation diagnostic tool for cardiovascular disease, using a nanoscale iron particle, is now under development at a unique industry-government-university named Nano AG. A report from Siemens describes the research and progress at the centre

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NEW BP-measuring device

A new blood pressure (BP) measuring device that provides, along with all the conventional cardiovascular parameters, the cardiac stroke volume, peripheral resistance and arterial augmentation, has been developed at the Austrian Research Centre (ARC), Vienna-Seibersdorf. The result of seven years' work by researchers, the device, named CardioMon, is now ready for sale.

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FRED® easyport

Cardiac infarction and cardiovascular failure are two of today's most frequent emergencies. SCHILLER's FRED® easyport® pocket is the only pocket defibrillator in the world.

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Cardiologists meet to sum up progress

During a meeting of cardiologists in Prague earlier this year to exchange experiences with new methods and treatments to control atrial fibrillation, Dr Josef Kautzner, Head of Cardiology Department at IKEM (Institute of Clinical and Experimental Medicine) pointed out that numbers of patients with AF will more than double during the next 20 years.

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No predicted boom in medical tourism

'The world at home in German hospitals' — thousands of wealthy foreign patients coming to boost budgets, this was the hope of many hospitals. Then along came a sobering study from Sozial und Seniorenwirtschaftszentrums GmbH (SWZ), conducted within the framework of Healthcare Export Projects, which are funded by the German Ministry for Education and Research to design, establish and market…

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Furore over increased balloon angioplasty units

A decision by Ab Klink, Minister of Public Health, Wellbeing and Sports, to increase the number of balloon angioplasty facilities in hospitals to 30, has prompted the NVVC - the Dutch cardiologists association - to express concern that there will be too many centres and too few patients, and specialists will not be able to maintain the level of skills for this procedure.

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CTA benefits coronary artery bypass graft patients

Cardiac CT angiography (CTA) performed after coronary artery bypass grafting surgery can reveal a high prevalence of unsuspected cardiac and significant non-cardiac findings that might otherwise be overlooked, according to a study by researchers at the University of Maryland Medical Centre, Baltimore ('Cardiac CT Angiography after Coronary Bypass Surgery: Prevalence of Incidental Findings', Pub:…

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Cardiac MSCT Study Assessment with Sure Plaque-Software

Ongoing refinement of modern helical multi-slice CT (MSCT) scanners offers the opportunity for very high temporal and spatial resolution thin-slice data set acquisition. The reconstruction techniques offered (multisegment reconstruction) result in improved temporal resolution down to 40-200 ms and thus also reducing motion artifacts. The SURECardio software package makes possible optimum studies…

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Monitoring of Surgical Bypasses

The aortocoronary bypass is an important surgical method for multivessel coronary revascularization, especially in the presence of complex lesions and in diabetic patients. It is can improve the prognosis of patients with three vessel disease and with left ventricular dysfunction1 . With regard to the type of graft used, bypasses are split into venous and arterial types. The use of venous…

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Tissue Doppler Imaging

Tissue Doppler Imaging (TDI) is an emergingnon-invasive ultrasound technique that makes it possible to measure velocities at any point of the ventricular wall during the cardiac cycle. Over the last ten years, TDI has been proposed as a feasible and useful imaging tool that provides information on regional wall motion dynamics.

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Cardiac CT

Along with a high local resolution, the cardiac CT imaging also requires a high time resolution where the image data acquisition must be synchronised with the cardiac cycle by means of parallel ECG recording, and the measuring volume must be acquired in a single breathhold cycle. The multi-slice CT copes well with these requirements as it allows for acquiring continuous volume data sets of the…

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Automatic Quantification of Left-ventricular Function

The evaluation of the size and function of the left ventricle in patients with suspected heart disease is a central diagnostic problem. In contrast to other methods of evaluating left-ventricular function (e.g., angiocardiography, right-sided heart catheterization, radionuclide ventriculography or MRI), transthoracic echocardiography is a widespread and readily available procedure that is not…

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Tissue Doppler Imaging for assessment of pseudonormalization of the mitral inflow pattern

Impairment of left ventricular relaxation may lead to pulmonary congestion and symptoms of heart failure even in patients with preserved systolic function. Doppler echocardiography has become the non-invasive method of choice for the assessment of both systolic and diastolic dysfunction. However, Doppler-derived parameters such as mitral inflow velocity, deceleration time and isovolumic…

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Everything Echocardiography Offers - at 4559 Meters Above Sea Level

It has long been known that remaining at high altitudes leads to an increase in pulmonary arterial pressure caused by hypoxia. Its effects on cardiac function have also been considered well documented. The increase in pressure in the pulmonary circulation causes an enlargement of the right ventricle and thereby causes a displacement of the left ventricle that is accompanied by a relaxation…

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A Small Primer on the Clinical Use of MSCT for Heart Exams

Because of the rapid technical and scientific development over the past few years, multislice computer tomography of the heart has become increasingly established in the clinical routine. This requires, among other things, knowledge of the anatomy of the coronary arteries, the meaningful evaluation of the calcium score and the appropriate reproduction of the function of the left ventricle.

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Optimization of Temporal and Spatial Resolution for Cardiac CT Diagnostics

Further developments in computer and detection technology over the last few months and years have made it possible to overcome, to a large degree, the previously limitations of medical computer tomography in spatial and temporal resolution, and thus to permit “detail-true” representation of the beating heart. The diagnostic workflow and computer-tomographic diagnosis of the heart using the…

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Cardiac Imaging in a Small Animal Model

In the last 10 years, small animal models have played an important role in cardiological research. These research models are especially important since today various cardiac illness entities can be investigated in transgene animal models. Because of the animals ease of handling and fast generation time, research projects with rats and mice are particularly interesting. Until the 1980s,…

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Carotid Stenting

Arteriosclerosis is well known as a vascular disease and cardiovascular risk factor. In its generalised form it affects not only the peripheral vessels (pelvis, legs) but also the coronary vessels and the carotid arteries. Arteriosclerosis is primarily a manifestation of advancing age, hence it is often accompanied by other diseases of the lungs and the heart as well as by metabolic diseases…

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Contrast agents in Sonography

Ultrasound contrast agents (USCA) or echo enhancers consist of minute gas containing microbubbles that have a high reflectivity when exposed to an ultrasound field. The history of USCA started in the mid of the 1960s. The cardiologist Joyner performed echo cardiography during the injection of saline solution into the aortic root via a catheter. During the injection he observed bright signals on…

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The Non-Surgical Closure of Congenital Heart Defects

What is an “open foramen ovale”? The open foramen ovale medical abbreviation PFO for “patent foramen ovale”) is a usually small, only a few millimeter thick, membrane-covered slit in the septum between the atria of the heart. It is a remnant from human embryonic development that usually closes during the newborn period; however, in 10-25% of newborns a small opening remains that generally…

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Medical-imaging contrast media market booms

Increased incidence of vascular diseases and improved medical-imaging technologies expand the application base for contrast media. According to a new study from US market-research group Frost & Sullivan, sales of medical-imaging contrast media will see an impressive 58 per cent rise until 2013.

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Everything Echocardiography Offers - at 4 559 Meters Above Sea Level

It has long been known that hypoxia at high altitudes leads to an increase of pulmonaryarterial pressure. For sensitive persons, one crucial factor for the development of HAPE is the overwhelming rise in pressure in the pulmonary circulation. Using right heart catheterization average pulmonary-arterial pressures of 60 mmHg were encountered in earlier studies of HAPE patients. A pressure increase…

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Vascular Imaging in Prenatal Medicine

The following two articles look at the advantages of a new ultrasound technique in prenatal diagnostics: Advanced Dynamic Flow (ADF). While the authors use ADF for different purposes - K. S. Heling applies ADF for general vascular imaging and R. Schmitz focuses on fetal liver tumours and a fetal aneurysm in the vein of Galen - they both arrive at remarkably similar conclusions. But read for…

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Cardiac Multislice Computed Tomography (MSCT) Angiography

Spiral computed tomography first allowed the seamless acquisition of entire volumina without first separating them into individual slices. With the newest generation of MSCT devices having the 16-slice technology, short gantry rotation time of < 0.5 seconds, and a high performance processor, it is now possible to acquire large amounts of data in a short period of time with high spatial and…

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European Institute of Molecular Imaging founded in Münster, Germany

Besides sophisticated imaging technologies, biomarkers are the key to molecular medicine. Therefore, the development of new and more specific biomarkers is the primary aim of researchers around the world and - since this June - it is also the aim of the new founded European Institute of Molecular Imaging, a cooperation project of the University Münster, Germany and Siemens Medical Solutions.…

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Toshiba Introduces: Dyssynchrony Imaging

In recent years, Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy (CRT) has become increasingly important in the treatment of patients with impaired left ventricular contraction. Since this patient group is growing constantly experts estimate that by 2010 about 10 million people in Europe will be suffering from heart failure. Especially the “baby-boomers”, born just after World War II and in 2010 about…

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Tissue Doppler Imaging of the Fetal Heart

In the last 25 years, fetal echocardiography has become established as an integral component of prenatal medicine. Structural heart defects are found in approx. 0.8% of all foetuses. They are consequently comparatively frequent and head the list of isolated fetal organ malformations. Routine screening of the four-chamber view and the outflow tract allows the experienced investigator to detect…

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Robust CT Protocols for Pediatric Cardiovascular Examinations

Pediatric cardiovascular disorders are extremely complex in nature and present with a widely variable array of abnormal anatomy. Imaging these disorders presents a unique set of challenges for the cardiovascular team. Complex anatomical variations require detailed volumetric image interpretation with high spatial and temporal resolution. In addition, the patients are invariably young. They may…

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Stroke Imaging: Foundations and Strategy

Diagnostic imaging is of particular value in investigating ischaemic cerebrovascular accidents since, due to the rapid progression of cell destruction in the region of the cerebral infarction, the radiologist is faced with urgent questions regarding a possible procedure. These questions may be answered particularly well using computed tomography (CT). The following article provides an overview…

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Dyssynchrony Imaging

Dyssynchrony Imaging (DI), Toshiba's novel Doppler technology, is used as a quantitative clinical tool for rapid assessment of dyssynchrony in patients with suspected myomechanical dysfunction. From the parasternal short axis view, DI is applied by Toshiba's exclusive “angle-correction” technology and in apical views by standard Doppler imaging. Thus, DI permits evaluation of virtually all…

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Cardiac MSCT with SURE Plaque - Initial experience and future perspectives

Ongoing refinement of modern spiral multi-slice CT scanners offers the opportunity for very high temporal and spatial resolution thin-slice data set acquisition. The econstruction techniques offered (multisegment reconstruction) result in improved temporal resolution while simultaneously reducing the effective exposure time to 40-200 ms and thus also reducing motion artefacts. The SURECardio…

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Guest patient boom is a fizzle

"The world at home in German hospitals" - that was the hope of many German hospitals which wanted to attract well-heeled foreign patients to bolster their budgets. The high expectations of the business model "guest patient", however, were disappointed as a sobering study of the Sozial- und Seniorenwirtschaftszentrums GmbH (swz/IHT) conducted in the framework Health Care Export Projects shows.

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Guess the best

Basic cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), particularly when performed immediately by those witnessing a cardiac or respiratory arrest, definitively saves lives - especially in witnessed cases of ventricular fibrillation (VF) and childhood drowning events. Nevertheless, the frequency of bystander CPR still remains mostly low. In turn, survival chances for potentially salvageable patients remain…

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