Search for: "heart disease" - 1000 articles found

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Transcatheter aortic valve implants

TAVI: from short-term effects to lifetime management

Until recently, TAVI, the minimally invasive procedure in which a replacement valve is inserted inside a diseased valve has been mostly prescribed for patients too weak to face open heart surgery – largely involving those in the 80-plus age group. Today, due to greater longevity plus advancing skills that result in risks reduction, TAVI is increasingly prescribed for patients in their 70s and…

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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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Atrial fibrillation

Night shift work could increase risk of heart problems

People who work night shifts are at increased risk of developing an irregular and often abnormally fast heart rhythm called atrial fibrillation (AF), according to research published in the European Heart Journal. The study is the first to investigate the links between night shift work and AF. Using information from 283,657 people in the UK Biobank database, researchers found that the longer and…

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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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Heart-related hospitalisations

Drug danger: opioid use linked to steep rise in cardiac arrests

A nationwide US study has shown that the rate of opioid-related cardiac arrests has steeply risen and is now on par with the rate of cardiac arrest from other causes. The research is presented at ESC Congress 2021. Opioid use disorder, which includes dependence and addiction, affects more than two million people in the US, while opioid overdose is the leading cause of death for those aged 25 to…

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Early detection and treatment of illnesses

Researchers develop implantable AI system

Artificial intelligence (AI) will fundamentally change medicine and healthcare: Diagnostic patient data, e.g. from ECG, EEG or X-ray images, can be analyzed with the help of machine learning, so that diseases can be detected at a very early stage based on subtle changes. However, implanting AI within the human body is still a major technical challenge. TU Dresden scientists at the Chair of…

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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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Underrated lipids

The importance of 'beige' fat in dementia protection

Beige is considered a calming paint color, and scientists have new evidence that beige fat has a similar impact on the brain, bringing down the inflammation associated with the more common white fat and providing protection from dementia. They have found that beige fat cells, which are typically intermingled with white fat cells in the subcutaneous fat present on “pear shaped” people, mediate…

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Telehealth

Sheba Beyond: Creating Israel’s first virtual hospital

Israel’s first virtual hospital has been created following the advances and applications learned from using telemedicine tools and techniques to care for coronavirus patients in isolation wards. Sheba Beyond was established in January and over the last few months has successfully delivered care to patients across a range of areas. The development of the project was outlined to the DMEA –…

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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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AMR insights platform

Antibiotic resistance: a global problem in urgent need of solutions

Antibiotics have been at the heart of modern healthcare since the 1950s. They are prescribed prior to an operation to minimise the risk of infection after the operation. Or antibiotics are prescribed to fight an infection. This practice, which might seem straightforward at first glance, has proven to cause a number of problems itself: Over the last twenty years, it has become increasingly clear…

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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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WHO global report

The six guiding principles for AI in healthcare

Artificial Intelligence (AI) holds great promise for improving the delivery of healthcare and medicine worldwide, but only if ethics and human rights are put at the heart of its design, deployment, and use, according to new WHO guidance. The report, Ethics and governance of artificial intelligence for health, is the result of 2 years of consultations held by a panel of international experts…

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Promising research tool

World's first digital cancer cell model

Computer models have been standard tools in basic biomedical research for many years. However, around 70 years after the first publication of an ion current model of a nerve cell by Hodgkin & Huxley in 1952, researchers at Graz University of Technology (TU Graz), in collaboration with the Medical University of Graz and the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, have finally…

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Personalised medicine

'Body-on-a-chip' technology boosts drug development

Integrating laboratory functions on a microchip circuit is helping improve the cost-effectiveness of drug development. So-called ‘lab-on-a-chip’ or ‘human-on-a-chip’ technology can highlight which treatments may, or may not, work before advancing along the clinical trial process. It can also have benefits for chronic and rare diseases, as well as helping shape personalised medicine.…

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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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Transient implant

A pacemaker that dissolves when it's no longer needed

Researchers at Northwestern and George Washington (GW) universities have developed the first-ever transient pacemaker — a wireless, battery-free, fully implantable pacing device that disappears after it’s no longer needed. The thin, flexible, lightweight device could be used in patients who need temporary pacing after cardiac surgery or while waiting for a permanent pacemaker. All components…

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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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Promising protein "MARK4"

Switching off heart protein could protect against heart failure

Switching off a heart muscle protein could provide a new way for drugs to combat heart failure in people who’ve had a heart attack, according to research led by the University of Cambridge and published in the journal Nature. There is an unmet need to find drugs that can successfully improve the heart’s ability to pump blood efficiently after it’s been damaged following a heart attack.…

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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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Cardiology

On the way to better analysis of paediatric ECGs

Physicians are increasingly using software to automatically evaluate Holter ECG signals in adult patients, but so far, no software has been developed for children. Cardiomatics and the Medical University of Warsaw are on the way to a breakthrough in paediatric cardiology. They are developing an international tool for automatic assessment, analysis, and interpretation of electrocardiographic…

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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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Coronavirus complications

Post-acute Covid: study explores risk of developing long term conditions

One in 7 (14%) adults with coronavirus infection developed at least one new condition that required medical care during the post-acute phase of illness, which is 5% higher than adults with no coronavirus infection in 2020, finds a US study published by The BMJ. The post-acute phase in this study started 21 days (or 3 weeks) after initial infection.

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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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Coronavirus disease biomarkers

New Covid-19 testing method gives results within one second

The Covid-19 pandemic made it clear technological innovations were urgently needed to detect, treat, and prevent the SARS-CoV-2 virus. A year and a half into this epidemic, waves of successive outbreaks and the dire need for new medical solutions — especially testing — continue to exist. In the Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology B, researchers from the University of Florida and…

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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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Intensive care support

AI predicts daily ICU trajectory for critical Covid-19 patients

Researchers used AI to identify which daily changing clinical parameters best predict intervention responses in critically ill Covid-19 patients. The investigators used machine learning to predict which patients might get worse and not respond positively to being turned onto their front in intensive care units (ICUs) - a technique known as proning that is commonly used in this setting to improve…

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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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Safe sonography

Medical societies support safety and benefits of ultrasound contrast agents

The American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM) and the American Society of Echocardiography (ASE) have joined the International Contrast Ultrasound Society (ICUS) in recognizing the relatively low risk and important clinical benefits of ultrasound contrast agents (UCAs), which are used routinely around the world to help detect heart disease, stratify the risk of heart attack or stroke,…

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Prevention, treatment, care and support

Action on stroke: Experts launch joint declaration

An appeal is launched for Health Ministries across Europe to sign the Declaration for Action on the Stroke Action Plan for Europe to tackle one of the leading causes of death and disability. Led by The European Stroke Organisation (ESO) and Stroke Alliance for Europe (SAFE), the initiative aims to encourage European countries to show their commitment to improving stroke prevention, treatment,…

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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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Disease management

Covid-19 and beyond: Unlocking the value of diagnostic data

Diagnostic data from the massive amounts of testing being conducted can help make health systems more resilient in dealing with future health crises and pandemics. The importance of diagnostic data was explored during the Medtech Europe online session, “Unlocking the Value of Diagnostic Information – how to make European Health Systems more resilient?” where delegates heard that…

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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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Bioprinting breakthrough

3D printed mini pancreas to help fight diabetes

First you see it as a transparent shape on a computer screen – a small electronic replica of the human pancreas. Then just 30 seconds later the tissue is printed out on a bioprinter, blood vessels and all, from a sample of human stem cells. This amazing feat is possible thanks to new technology created at EPFL’s Laboratory of Applied Photonics Devices (LAPD) and further developed by…

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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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Radiology research

Chest CT illuminates COPD mortality risk

Body composition information derived from routine chest CTs can provide important information on the overall health of people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including their risk of all-cause mortality. This is the result of a new study, published in Radiology. COPD is a group of chronic, progressive lung diseases that affect about 30 million people in the United States alone.…

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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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Post-hospitalisation

New study reveals impact of 'Long Covid'

Recovery duration, co-morbidities, mortality, risk groups: A large study across multiple UK centres reports in detail on prospectively assessed outcomes of Covid-19, the so called 'Long Covid'. We spoke with two of the study's co-investigators about why so many patients are still affected after a coronavirus infection.

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The hidden 'fingerprint' of liver cirrhosis

Routine blood tests could be key to stopping 'silent killer'

New research has shown that results of blood tests routinely performed by GPs everywhere contain a hidden fingerprint that can identify people silently developing potentially fatal liver cirrhosis. The researchers have developed an algorithm to detect this fingerprint that could be freely installed on any clinical computer, making this a low-cost way for GPs to carry out large scale screening…

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Harmony Transcatheter Pulmonary Valve (TPV) System

FDA approval for implant to treat congenital heart disease

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first in the world non-surgical heart valve to treat pediatric and adult patients with a native or surgically-repaired right ventricular outflow tract (RVOT). The device, called the Harmony Transcatheter Pulmonary Valve (TPV) System, is intended to improve blood flow to the lungs in patients with severe pulmonary valve regurgitation without…

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Nueva sigla para crear más conciencia acerca de los ataques cerebrales

¿Sospecha de accidente cerebrovascular? actua 'RÁPIDO'

Los investigadores acaban de establecer un nuevo acrónimo en español con el objetivo de crear un mayor nivel de conciencia en la comunidad hispana acerca de los síntomas de los ataques cerebrales. Conocido como RÁPIDO, la intención de este nuevo acrónimo es replicar el equivalente popular que existe en inglés de FAST. En los estudios se ha mostrado que hoy en día los adultos hispanos…

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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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Subsidiary atrial pacemaker

Researchers discover natural 'backup pacemaker' in the heart

Researchers at The University of Manchester and Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust have discovered a backup natural pacemaker, which is able to generate a pulse and control the heart rate. The British Heart Foundation funded study ‘completely changes our understanding’ of the heart’s anatomy and has important implications on the work of cardiologists and heart surgeons. As part of…

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Tiny changes, huge effects

Finding causes of disease with induced pluripotent stem cells

Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) are suitable for discovering the genes that underly complex and also rare genetic diseases. Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), together with international partners, have studied genotype-phenotype relationships in iPSCs using data from approximately one thousand donors. Tens of…

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Radiology collaboration

Improved workflow and a touch of Disney magic

Improving workflow is one of the major challenges that radiology departments face. The need to be more efficient, deliver timely and effective patient care, and keep an eye on costs are all factors that seem to be ever-present in the modern imaging department. With the added demands of the coronavirus pandemic as radiology departments continue to play a critical role in the fight against…

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Alarm system 'ELISE'

A digital 'co-pilot' for paediatric intensive care

Working in intensive care units poses special challenges for healthcare workers. They have to safely and reliably detect whether the condition of their seriously ill patients is deteriorating in a life-threatening way, and they have to do so under great time pressure because every minute counts. The stress level increases even more when the patients are children and adolescents. In paediatric…

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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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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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53,831 genomes analysed

Rare diseases: huge dataset brings new insights

Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) and their colleagues published a new analysis from genetic sequencing data of more than 53,000 individuals, primarily from minority populations. The early analysis, part of a large-scale program funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, examines one of the largest and most diverse data sets of high-quality whole…

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Identifying symptoms and predicting diagnosis

Covid-19 detection: Wearables have an edge over traditional diagnostics

Wearable devices can identify Covid-19 cases earlier than traditional diagnostic methods and can help track and improve management of the disease, Mount Sinai researchers report in one of the first studies on the topic. The findings were published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research. The Warrior Watch Study found that subtle changes in a participant’s heart rate variability (HRV)…

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Alternative therapies

Artificial aorta can reduce patients' blood pressure

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 ongoing need for alternative therapies. With new developments in cardiac assistance systems, we can delay the need for a transplant – or even eliminate it altogether,” says Professor Yves Perriard, head of EPFL’s…

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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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Measuring mitochondrial DNA

Rapid blood test identifies Covid-19 patients at high risk of severe disease

One of the most vexing aspects of the Covid-19 pandemic is doctors’ inability to predict which newly hospitalized patients will go on to develop severe disease, including complications that require the insertion of a breathing tube, kidney dialysis or other intensive care. Knowledge of a patient’s age and underlying medical conditions can help predict such outcomes, but there are still…

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Lasts longer, causes more damage

Covid-19 pneumonia: not your typical garden-variety pneumonia

Bacteria or viruses like influenza that cause pneumonia can spread across large regions of the lung within hours. In the modern intensive care unit, these bacteria or viruses are usually controlled either by antibiotics or by the body’s immune system within the first few days of the illness. But in a study published in Nature, investigators at Northwestern Medicine show Covid-19 pneumonia is…

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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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Messenger RNA vaccines explained

Busting 8 common myths about Covid-19 vaccines

Even those who understand the scientific process, trust medical experts and know how important vaccines are for fighting infectious diseases might still have some questions or concerns about the new Covid-19 vaccines. Here, Thaddeus Stappenbeck, MD, PhD, helps set the record straight on 8 common questions, concerns and myths that have emerged about Covid-19 vaccines.

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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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Drug repurposing

AI finds new uses for existing medications

Scientists have developed a machine-learning method that crunches massive amounts of data to help determine which existing medications could improve outcomes in diseases for which they are not prescribed. The intent of this work is to speed up drug repurposing, which is not a new concept – think Botox injections, first approved to treat crossed eyes and now a migraine treatment and top cosmetic…

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Ready to face the pandemic

Sonosite PX launches in a moment of crisis

This July, Fujifilm Sonosite launched Sonosite PX, its newest ultrasound system, in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. Diku Mandavia, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of Fujifilm Sonosite, sat down with sonographer and Sonosite’s Director of Marketing Development Jodi Miller to discuss how Sonosite’s newest ultrasound system can help frontline health care workers combat the pandemic and why…

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Wearable sensor

Covid sensor ring detects even subtle symptoms

A smart ring that generates continuous temperature data may foreshadow Covid-19, even in cases when infection is not suspected. The device, which may be a better illness indicator than a thermometer, could lead to earlier isolation and testing, curbing the spread of infectious diseases, according to a preliminary study led by UC San Francisco and UC San Diego.

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Decreasing infection risk

Researchers develop touch-free vital signs monitor

Scientists at Heriot-Watt University have developed a technique that monitors a patient’s vital signs completely touch free. By using a continuous wave radar-based system to sense tiny chest movements, the new method can accurately measure an individual’s heart rate and respiratory rate without the need for wires, probes, wearable technology or other skin attachments. It could also identify…

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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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White matter hyperintensities

High blood pressure puts the brain at risk

Higher than normal blood pressure is linked to more extensive brain damage in the elderly, according to a new study published in the European Heart Journal. In particular, the study found that there was a strong association between diastolic blood pressure (the blood pressure between heart beats) before the age of 50 and brain damage in later life, even if the diastolic blood pressure was within…

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Virology

Digital epidemiology in the Covid-19 war

Digital epidemiology is on the frontline in the Covid-19 war, with innovative techniques used to observe and monitor this viral spread across populations. Its increasingly important role was outlined to a virtual session at Medica 2020 by theoretical biologist Professor Dirk Brockmann. In a keynote presentation ‘Perspective of digital epidemiology – opportunities, promises and challenges’,…

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Profiling the coronavirus

Experts unlock Covid-19 secrets

Experts have identified two distinct immunological and cellular profiles in the lungs of Covid-19 patients which they believe could help define treatment pathways. From some of the earliest Covid-19 autopsies conducted in Europe, Swiss-based researchers have performed integrative digital pathology and transcriptomic analyses of lung tissues of 16 coronavirus patients who died from respiratory…

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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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spotlight at virtual.MEDICA

Digital health is on the rise due to COVID-19

MEDICA in Düsseldorf is a world-leading platform for the medical technology business and the healthcare industry and has always been one of the places to be for the entire sector as it covers current digital health trends, innovative products and services for linking all of the major stakeholders in medical care. Consequently, digital health is a mainstay of virtual.MEDICA, which, due to the…

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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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At the heart of science

Scientific research has to be ‘passion-driven’, says Nobel Prize winner

Scientists cannot be expected to drop everything they’re working on to turn their attention to beating COVID-19, according to the winner of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, Professor Sir Peter Ratcliffe. Speaking before he delivered the prestigious Michel Clavel lecture to the 32nd EORTC-NCI-AACR Symposium on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics, which was due to take place…

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List by top clinicians and researchers

Top 10 medical innovations for 2021

An up-and-coming gene therapy for blood disorders. A new class of medications for cystic fibrosis. Increased access to telemedicine. These are some of the innovations that will enhance healing and change healthcare in the coming year, according to a distinguished panel of clinicians and researchers from Cleveland Clinic. In conjunction with the 2020 Medical Innovation Summit, Cleveland Clinic…

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Simulation model for pathological mechanisms

Understanding the progress of viral infections

It is only 120 millionths of a millimetre in size but can bring entire countries to a standstill: the Corona virus. Even if it were to disappear one day, viral infections will still be among the most frequent and difficult-to-treat diseases in humans. Even decades of research have only produced a few standardized vaccines and strategies for treatment to combat just a small number of viruses. Nor…

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Basis for a passive vaccination

Researchers identify highly effective antibodies against SARS-CoV-2

Researchers at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin have identified highly effective antibodies against the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and are now pursuing the development of a passive vaccination. In this process, they have also discovered that some SARS-CoV-2 antibodies bind to tissue samples from various organs, which could potentially…

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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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POCT as initial coronavirus screening tool

Ultrasound confirms frontline value in COVID-19 setting

Ultrasound could become the prime modality in emergency settings for tracking disease progression in COVID-19 patients. While chest CT has held a key diagnostic role thus far, many experts now advocate the benefits of ultrasound within the context of the coronavirus epidemic. Dr Rachel Liu, who recently led a high-profile panel discussion with experts from the USA and areas of Europe with high…

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Origins of the disease(s) explained

Parkinson's: not one, but two diseases?

Although the name may suggest otherwise, Parkinson's disease is not one but two diseases, starting either in the brain or in the intestines. Which explains why patients with Parkinson’s describe widely differing symptoms, and points towards personalised medicine as the way forward for people with Parkinson's disease. This is the conclusion of a study which has just been published in the leading…

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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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Coronavirus

“Hotspots” of a corona infection in the human body

An infection with the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 can affect multiple organs. With this in mind, researchers of the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and Cornell University in the US have investigated cellular factors that could be significant for an infection. To this end, they analysed the activity of 28 specific genes in a wide range of human tissues.

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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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Muscle dystrophy

Duchenne: "Crosstalk" between muscle and spleen

Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is the most common muscle disease in children and is passed on by X-linked recessive inheritance. Characteristic is a progressive muscular atrophy. The disease often results in death before the third decade of life. Researchers of the Universities of Maynooth (Ireland) and Bonn have found a connection between dystrophic muscles and the lymphatic system in mice…

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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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Improving the role of radiology

Value-based healthcare: AI reveals the bigger picture

Value-based healthcare is gaining momentum and radiologists must increasingly show their contribution in improving patient care. Artificial intelligence (AI) can help them to do so and brings a series of new opportunities, according to Charles E Kahn, Professor and Vice Chairman of Radiology at the University of Pennsylvania, speaking at a meeting in Madrid in January. AI can do a lot to improve…

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Cardiology research

Predicting longevity in heart failure patients - by looking at their eyes

Pupil size predicts death and hospital readmission in patients with heart failure, according to new research. “Our results suggest that pupil area is a novel way to identify heart patients at elevated risk of death or hospital readmission,” said study author Dr. Kohei Nozaki of Kitasato University Hospital, Kanagawa, Japan. “This provides an opportunity to intervene and improve outlook.”

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Shedding light into the 'black box' of AI

Neural network helps explain relapses of heart failure patients

Patient data are a treasure trove for AI researchers. There’s a problem though: many algorithms used to mine patient data act as black boxes, which makes their predictions often hard to interpret for doctors. Researchers from Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) and the Zhejiang University in China have now developed an algorithm that not only predicts hospital readmissions of heart…

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Wearable technology

Smart watches and fitness trackers: useful, but may increase anxiety

Is my heart beating slightly fast? Is a heart attack coming? I didn’t sleep as much as I thought I had last night – is that bad for my heart? Health apps and fitness watches can shed considerable light on how our bodies work and make recommendations for a healthy lifestyle. However, self-measuring can have a downside too, according to a new study that examined the experiences of 27 heart…

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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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Prevention research

These 10 risk factors must be tackled to prevent Alzheimer's

There are at least 10 risk factors that appear to have a significant impact on a person’s likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s disease that could be targeted with preventative steps, new research suggests. Focusing on these factors, which include cognitive activity, high body mass index in late life, depression, diabetes, and high blood pressure, could provide clinicians with an evidence…

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COVID-19

Scientists uncover SARSCoV-2-specific T cell immunity in recovered patients

The T cells, along with antibodies, are an integral part of the human immune response against viral infections due to their ability to directly target and kill infected cells. A Singapore study has uncovered the presence of virus-specific T cell immunity in people who recovered from COVID-19 and SARS, as well as some healthy study subjects who had never been infected by either virus.

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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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Hidden in our genes

scHOT: Discovering the fate of cell development

As cells develop, changes in how our genes interact determines their fate. Differences in these genetic interactions can make our cells robust to infection from viruses or make it possible for our immune cells to kill cancerous ones. Understanding how these gene associations work across the development of human tissue and organs is important for the creation of medical treatments for complex…

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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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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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Durable implant

New heart valve could transform open heart surgery

A new polymeric heart valve with a life span potentially longer than current artificial valves that would also prevent the need for the millions of patients with diseased heart valves to require life-long blood thinning tablets has been developed by scientists at the universities of Bristol and Cambridge. The team's latest in-vitro results, published in Biomaterials Science, suggest that the…

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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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Virtual consultations

COVID-19 pandemic boosts telemedicine in Spain

The coronavirus crisis has accelerated the use of telemedicine in Spain with an increase in virtual consultation and positive impact on workflow. The challenge will be to make these changes permanent, according to a panel of experts who took part in a conference last June in Barcelona. Spanish patients and healthcare professionals have widely accepted virtual consultation as a new alternative to…

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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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Antithrombotic approach

A new way to detect blood clots

Biomedical engineering researchers at Texas A&M University designed a medical device that mimics blood vessels to design and monitor drugs for patients with clotting disorders. This approach could be especially beneficial for pediatric patients. Unlike what a biology textbook may show, blood vessels are not straight cylinders. They are tortuous, meaning they have complex curves, spirals and…

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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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Profiling the coronavirus

Risk factors for severe and fatal COVID-19 cases identified

Age, male sex, obesity, and underlying illness have emerged as risk factors for severe and fatal cases of COVID-19 in the UK, according to the largest cohort study to date published by The BMJ. As the largest prospective observational study reported worldwide to date, it provides a comprehensive picture of the characteristics of patients hospitalised in the UK with COVID-19 and their outcomes.…

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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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Nephritis as a marker

Kidney an early warning sign for severe COVID-19 cases

A course of action to early detect and treat severe courses of COVID-19 infections has been developed by an expert-team of the University Medical Center Goettingen (UMG). A simple urine test is intended to help medical professionals to recognize warning signs of future decompensation of COVID-19 infections earlier. With the help of a few parameters, the treatment of imminent complications can…

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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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Coronavirus impact on A&E

Covid-19: UK emergency departments see dramatic fall in attendance

Accident and Emergency departments across the NHS have seen dramatic falls in attendances amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis. Senior A&E practitioners are becoming increasingly concerned that people who need to be seen for serious conditions such as suspected heart attacks are staying away – or not seeking help until much later – because they are frightened of contracting coronavirus.

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COVID-19 gateway

Nose cells identified as likely coronavirus entry points

Two specific cell types in the nose have been identified as likely initial infection points for COVID-19 coronavirus. Scientists discovered that goblet and ciliated cells in the nose have high levels of the entry proteins that the COVID-19 virus uses to get into our cells. The identification of these cells by researchers from the Wellcome Sanger Institute, University Medical Centre Groningen,…

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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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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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Monitoring Covid-19 from the sky

A ‘pandemic drone’ to detect coronavirus infections

A ‘pandemic drone’ to remotely monitor and detect people with infectious respiratory conditions is being developed by the University of South Australia (UniSA) in partnership with a Canadian company. The drone will be fitted with a specialised sensor and computer vision system that can monitor temperature, heart and respiratory rates, as well as detect people sneezing and coughing in crowds,…

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Coronavirus disease research

Seeking a COVID-19 antidote: the potential of ACE2

As coronavirus disease COVID-19 continues to jet and alight invisibly around the globe, scientists now report that the virus has mutated to become two strains: the older ‘S-type’ appears milder and less infectious, while the later-emerging ‘L-type’, is more aggressive, spreads more quickly, and currently accounts for about 70 per cent of cases. Worldwide, medical researchers are exploring…

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Myths around SARS-CoV-2 busted

Coronavirus FAQ to dispel fake and harmful advice

The current outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is making headlines by the minute. However, some less-than-trustworthy advice can be found among the information. Understandably, many people are concerned and confused. To prevent unnecessary panic, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has assembled advice for the public. Is it safe to receive parcels from China? Will sesame oil…

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Enterprise imaging

Cut through the AI hype

It’s time to cut through the hype surrounding artificial intelligence and begin to understand the reality in terms of application in radiology. With many different algorithms available that cover a growing array of diagnostic and interpretational areas, Dr Anjum Ahmed believes hospitals and care providers now need to ask the right questions when weighing up AI implementation in their clinical…

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Surprising side-effects

A new cancer drug (that fights obesity and diabetes, too)

Eric Prossnitz, PhD, from the University of New Mexico Health Services and his team hope to help 93 million obese Americans fight their fat. In a paper published in Science Translational Medicine, they reported that G-1, a cancer-fighting compound they discovered some years ago, reduces fat in obese mice. Although G-1 is currently in phase 1 clinical trials for cancer, Prossnitz and his team are…

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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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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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Hyperventilation vs cardiac arrhythmia

Hold your breath – save your heart?

A technique that enables patients suffering from heart conditions to hold their breath safely for over 5 minutes could have potential as part of a new treatment for cardiac arrhythmias, say researchers at the University of Birmingham. In a new study, published in Frontiers in Physiology, researchers initially proposed the technique as a new means for earlier diagnosis of ischaemic heart disease.…

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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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The Heraeus Symposium at DKOU

Challenges of periprosthetic infection

Periprosthetic joint infection (PJI) is on the increase internationally. In Germany, for example, around 14,500 cases of PJI in hip and knee replacements occur annually. 5,100 of those are caused by multidrug resistant pathogens. ‘Eighty-seven percent of those affected die within five years,’ orthopaedic surgeon Professor Rudolf Ascherl MD pointed out during the Heraeus Symposium held at the…

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New nutrition study

Childhood obesity: a surprisingly complex topic

The World Health Organization has estimated more than 340 million children and adolescents ages 5-19 are overweight or obese, and the epidemic has been linked to more deaths worldwide than those caused by being underweight. The Centers for Disease Control recently reported an estimated 1 in 5 children in the United States, ages 12-18, are living with prediabetes — increasing their risk of…

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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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Polycystic ovary syndrome

Better treatment for women with PCOS

A major £2.4 million research project is underway at the University of Birmingham aimed at improving treatment for women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). PCOS affects at least ten percent of all women and causes irregular periods and difficulties trying to conceive. Most women with PCOS have high levels of male hormones, known as androgens, in their blood which can also cause unwanted body…

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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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NVIDIA at RSNA

Federated learning brings AI with privacy to hospitals

With over 100 exhibitors at the annual Radiological Society of North America conference using NVIDIA technology to bring AI to radiology, 2019 looks to be a tipping point for AI in healthcare. Despite AI’s great potential, a key challenge remains: gaining access to the huge volumes of data required to train AI models while protecting patient privacy.

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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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Surgery to reduce obesity-related mortality

When diet and excercise alone are not enough

Obesity not only means someone is overweight but, over time, they will probably suffer sequelae that increasingly impair quality of life and are potentially fatal – these include hypertension, coronary heart disease, type two diabetes, pulmonary function disorders, tumours, plus an increased risk during surgery and anaesthesia. In patients with morbid obesity, class three obesity, according to…

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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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Inherited neuromuscular disease HSP

Genetic cause for hereditary spastic paraplegia identified

Scientists at St George’s, University of London, in collaboration with researchers from Germany, the USA, Tunisia and Iran have identified a new gene associated with the neuromuscular disorder, hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP). The study, published in Nature Communications, also highlights a potential mechanism for the disease, which is already being targeted in drug trials for Alzheimer’s…

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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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Open surgery or TAVI?

New ways to treat severe aortic stenosis

New research at the University of Leicester, funded by the British Heart Foundation (BHF), could change the way people living with a debilitating heart condition are treated. The £2.7m clinical trial aims to identify the best time to operate on people living with severe aortic stenosis (AS). AS is a common condition that causes a narrowing of the heart valve, restricting blood flow out of the…

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Respiratory failure and sepsis

Cheap, quick test identifies major risks for pneumonia patients

Spanish researchers in Valencia have identified specific fragments of genetic material that play a role in the development of respiratory failure and sepsis in pneumonia patients. Presenting the research at the European Respiratory Society International Congress, Dr Francisco Sanz said the findings could enable doctors to test quickly for these biological markers when a patient is admitted to…

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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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Vascular surgery

New lease of life thanks to new aorta

Patients with the rare Loeys-Dietz syndrome suffer from aortic enlargement which may result in sudden over-expansion and a fatal aortic tear. In order to prevent this from happening, an aortic prosthesis must be implanted. A team of vascular surgeons at the University Hospital of Zurich was one of the first in the world to risk undertaking this life-saving operation on a child as an emergency…

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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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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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Neural network approach to ECG

AI detects heart failure from a single heartbeat

Researchers have developed a neural network approach that can accurately identify congestive heart failure with 100% accuracy through analysis of just one raw electrocardiogram (ECG) heartbeat, a new study reports. Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a chronic progressive condition that affects the pumping power of the heart muscles. Associated with high prevalence, significant mortality rates and…

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Rare lung disease

FDA approval for scleroderma treatment

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Ofev (nintedanib) capsules to slow the rate of decline in pulmonary function in adults with interstitial lung disease associated with systemic sclerosis or scleroderma, called SSc-ILD. It is the first FDA-approved treatment for this rare lung condition. “Patients suffering from scleroderma need effective therapies, and the FDA supports the efforts…

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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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Cardiac regeneration potential

Cell combination heals damaged hearts

Researchers have discovered a unique combination of cells grown from stem cells that could prove pivotal in helping a heart regenerate after a patient has suffered a myocardial infarction. The University of Cambridge research team found that transplanting an area of damaged tissue with a combination of heart muscle cells and supportive cells, similar to those that cover the outside of the heart,…

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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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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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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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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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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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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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Spotting scar muscles of the heart

New MRI technique saves kidneys from gadolinium damage

Traditional MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans use the metal gadolinium, which resonates areas of the heart muscles that are not functioning efficiently. However, gadolinium affects the Kidney function. A new 3D MRI computing technique developed by scientists at the University of Warwick calculates strain in heart muscles showing which muscles are not functioning enough without damaging other…

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Vascular PSP survey

Giving patients a say in vascular conditions research

A new survey will give patients, carers and members of the public the opportunity to have their say in what they think is important for future research for vascular conditions. The Vascular Priority Setting Partnership (PSP) survey, developed in partnership with the James Lind Alliance aims to identify unanswered questions about the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of vascular conditions from…

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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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Wishlist

Cancer prevention scrutinised

The latest study by the German Society for Haematology and Oncology (DGHO), ‘Prognosis for population-based morbidity for common cancers in Germany – impact on provision’ has made it clear that due to demographic developments in Germany and to medical advances in oncology, the requirements for cancer patients’ care are ever more diverse. The increase in newly diagnosed cancer patients is…

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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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Elderly in the ICU

Can flu vaccine reduce stroke risk?

It appears that an influenza vaccine does not just work when it comes to influenza. A new study shows that elderly people who have been admitted to an intensive care units have less risk of dying and of suffering a blood clot or bleeding in the brain if they have been vaccinated. And this is despite the fact that they are typically older, have more chronic diseases and take more medicine then…

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Nuclear magnetic resonance relaxometry

Hydration sensor could improve dialysis

For patients with kidney failure who need dialysis, removing fluid at the correct rate and stopping at the right time is critical. This typically requires guessing how much water to remove and carefully monitoring the patient for sudden drops in blood pressure. Currently there is no reliable, easy way to measure hydration levels in these patients, who number around half a million in the United…

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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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Roentgen Professorship 2020

Inspiring young radiologists to take up research

Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) Consultant Radiologist Tom Turmezei has been awarded the prestigious Royal College of Radiologists’ Roentgen Professorship for 2020, a role created to encourage trainee radiologists across the UK to participate in research. “Research is absolutely key to making discoveries that will improve the diagnosis and treatment of patients in the…

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Biomonitor III

The next generation injectable cardiac monitor

Biotronik announces the market release of its new injectable cardiac monitor (ICM), Biomonitor III, following approval in the CE region. The novel device is designed to help patients with irregular heart rhythms by documenting suspected arrhythmia or unexplained syncope with increased clarity. As the most common type of arrhythmia, 33.5 million patients worldwide suffer from atrial fibrillation…

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Digital twin

Collaboration of the future: and AI makes three

In view of the advent of personalised medicine and holistic therapy many experts predict the end of healthcare as we know it. However, in many places it is ‘healthcare business as usual’. In our interview, Dr Christoph Zindel, President Diagnostic Imaging at Siemens Healthineers, explains where he sees radiology bridging the gap between symptom-centred treatment today and the systemic…

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Surprising similarities

These are the top 25 medical lab tests around the world

A recent study can help governments understand which diagnostic laboratory tests are most important when developing universal health coverage systems. Researchers from five countries found that diagnostic laboratory tests are used similarly around the world, even though the institutions they studied differed in terms of poverty levels, health systems and prevalence of disease. “Even though…

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Progressing with a strong partner

Xenios and Fresenius Medical Care take the next step to multi-organ support

In October 2016, Xenios became a part of Fresenius Medical Care (FME), the world’s leading provider of products and services for people with chronic kidney failure. The integration of the expertise from FME and Xenios and thus the combination of the companies’ competences strongly enhances treatment options in critical care within the intensive care unit (ICU) of hospitals across the world.…

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Induced pluripotent stem (iPS)

Researchers find way to generate stem cells more efficiently

Induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells are among the most important tools in modern biomedical research, leading to new and promising possibilities in precision medicine. To create them requires transforming a cell of one type, such as skin, into something of a blank slate, so it has the potential to become virtually any other kind of cell in the body, useful for regenerative therapies for…

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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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Biotechnology

First ever 3D printed heart from a patient’s own cells

In a major medical breakthrough, Tel Aviv University researchers have "printed" the world's first 3D vascularised engineered heart using a patient's own cells and biological materials. Until now, scientists in regenerative medicine — a field positioned at the crossroads of biology and technology — have been successful in printing only simple tissues without blood vessels. "This…

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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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AAA

New cause of abdominal aortic aneurysm uncovered

Researchers have discovered that a family of lipids (fats) contribute to the development of a serious aortic disease, by driving clotting in the blood vessel wall. The findings could lead to the development of new treatments for this potentially life threatening condition. The team, led by researchers at Cardiff University, in collaboration with colleagues at Oxford and Erlangen, discovered that…

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Cyberattack

Hackers can manipulate cancer scans

​Hackers can access a patient's 3-D medical scans to add or remove images of malignant tumors, thus placing patients at risk of misdiagnoses. The new study, published by Ben-Gurion University of the Negev cybersecurity researchers, showed that the altered scans successfully deceived both radiologists and artificial intelligence algorithms used to aid diagnosis. ​A 3-D CT (computerized…

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Meeting of the generations

We need a Senior Laboratory

It’s undeniable: the bulk of our population is growing older. Yet, this demographic change has not altered laboratory medicine: the reference values for many analyses are still based on data of a younger cohort. Inevitably this could lead to serious errors in the interpretation of older patients’ test results.

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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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Stop progression

Weight loss sets back Type 2 diabetes for at least two years

More than a third of people with Type 2 diabetes who took part in a weight management programme delivered by the NHS through GP surgeries remain free of diabetes two years later. These latest findings of the Diabetes Remission Clinical Trial (DiRECT), funded by Diabetes UK and led by experts at Newcastle University and the University of Glasgow, were announced today at Diabetes UK’s…

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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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Healthy ageing

Killing zombie cells to save our heart

Scientists at Newcastle University believe it may be possible to reverse the damage in the heart caused by ageing. New research, which has been published in the journal EMBO, could suggest a new way of preventing heart failure in older patients. Heart failure occurs when the heart is not pumping blood around the body as well as it should, most commonly when the heart muscle has been damaged –…

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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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Hope for diabetics

Insulin-producing cells grown in lab

UC San Francisco researchers have for the first time transformed human stem cells into mature insulin-producing cells, a major breakthrough in the effort to develop a cure for type 1 (T1) diabetes. Replacing these cells, which are lost in patients with T1 diabetes, has long been a dream of regenerative medicine, but until now scientists had not been able to figure out how to produce cells in a…

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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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Precision medicine

Europe looks to cells for a healthier future

How can we detect the first signs of disease as early as possible? Could closer investigation at the cellular level help to quickly prevent disease progression through appropriate treatment? The European Union is now investing a million euros over a one-year period to devise the plan for a fundamentally new approach to understanding the constant changes within cells and their relationships to one…

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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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AI in cardiology

Cardiac ultrasound: Harnessing anatomical intelligence

A new cardiac ultrasound solution is harnessing the power of anatomical intelligence to offer greater diagnostic confidence to clinicians. New EPIQ cardiac ultrasound solutions launched by Philips during the 2018 ESC Congress in Munich, have been designed to simplify workflow The CVx platform which, the firm reports, includes higher processing power, improved image clarity and sharpness, and more…

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New treatment options

Unlocking the secrets of cell communication

Portland State University (PSU) researchers have made a significant breakthrough by developing the 3-D structure of proteins from inside the eye lens that control how cells communicate with each other, which could open the door to treating diseases such as cataracts, stroke and cancer. The PSU research team, led by chemistry professor Steve Reichow, used a multimillion-dollar microscope and 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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Hepatology

Fatty liver: especially dangerous during the holidays

More than 100 million Americans have potentially deadly fatty liver disease and most do not even know it. Overeating and drinking excessive amounts of alcohol this holiday season could put someone with the disease on the fast track to liver failure. “There are no symptoms associated with fatty liver disease and no pain, so most people never get checked or treated for it and, over time, if it is…

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AI ethics and responsibilities

A journey into human/machine interactions in healthcare

With Artificial Intelligence (AI) able to deliver diagnostic advances for clinicians and patients, the focus has shifted towards ensuring the technology is used in an ethical and responsible way. As evidence emerges of a gap in research on ethical deployment of AI, Dr Gopal Ramchurn is embarking on a three-year research project that will look at setting parameters for AI usage, with a key aspect…

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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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Digital PET imaging

Digital Photon Counting improves diagnostic accuracy

Built as the first commercially available scanner to deliver truly digital PET, the Vereos PET/CT, from Philips, offers revolutionary Digital Photon Counting technology. The science behind this scanner evolution is ‘quite complicated’, agrees Piotr Maniawski, Director of Clinical Science Nuclear Medicine at Philips Healthcare, yet the improved performance is significant, particularly 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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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…

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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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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Fungal testing

One test winning over a run of 10 New β-Glucan test delivers rapid results

Fungal testing plays a critical role in patient care. However, the turnaround for results can be lengthy because the existing tests need 10 samples in a run. Professor Maurizio Sanguinetti, Professor of Microbiology at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart (Università Cattolica del S. Cuore), in Rome, Italy, is comparing the results of a new test with those from existing tests. Created by…

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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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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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Cardiac imaging on ICE

The benefits of Intracardiac echocardiography

Intracardiac echocardiography (ICE) is an increasingly important guiding tool for structural heart disease interventions – without general anaesthesia. José Ribeiro, who works in the thorax and circulation unit at Gaia Hospital Centre, Portugal, who has worked with this technology for the past two years, explained its benefits and limitations.

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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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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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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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Arrhythmia news

Cardiology goes multidisciplinary

Intervention in ventricular arrhythmia has improved dramatically over the past three decades thanks to advances in imaging and cooperation between cardiology and radiology, according to Professor Josep Brugada MD, director of the paediatric arrhythmia unit at Sant Joan de Déu Hospital in Barcelona. ‘Echocardiography, CT and MRI, combined with cardiology,’ he said, ‘have revolutionised the…

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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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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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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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Mysterious illness

Potential diagnostic test for Kawasaki disease

For the first time, researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and Imperial College London, with international collaborators, have determined that Kawasaki disease (KD) can be accurately diagnosed on the basis of the pattern of host gene expression in whole blood. The finding could lead to a diagnostic blood test to distinguish KD from other infectious and inflammatory…

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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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Single nucleotide polymorphism

Biosensor chip detects genetic mutation with higher sensitivity

A team led by the University of California San Diego has developed a chip that can detect a type of genetic mutation known as a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and send the results in real time to a smartphone, computer, or other electronic device. The chip is at least 1,000 times more sensitive at detecting an SNP than current technology. The advance could lead to cheaper, faster and…

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High blood pressure

Millions more: New guidelines could drastically raise hypertension numbers

Adopting new guidelines for high blood pressure (hypertension) would dramatically increase the number of people labeled as having the condition and being recommended for drug treatment, finds a study published by The BMJ today. The findings show that, if the guidelines were introduced in the US and China, more than half of those aged 45-75 years in both countries would be considered hypertensive.

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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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High throughput screening

Tumor-like spheres to help discover smarter cancer drugs

Cancer is a disease often driven by mutations in genes. As researchers learn more about these genes, and the proteins they code for, they are seeking smarter drugs to target them. The ultimate goal is to find ways to stop cancer cells from multiplying out of control, thereby blocking the growth and spread of tumors. Now researchers from The Scripps Research Institute are reporting an innovative…

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Exhibition

Progress in medicine presented at Bulmedica/Buldental 2018

New products and technologies in medical practice expect the specialists of the leading international exhibition Bulmedica/Buldental from 16 to 18 May at Inter Expo Center. This year, the medical profile of the exhibition will focus on the progress in imaging, physiotherapy, aesthetic medicine. Once again Bulmedica/Buldental will be a platform to keep an eye on the tendencies, a meeting point of…

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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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Epidemiological study

Vitamin D deficiency linked to increased diabetes risk

An epidemiological study conducted by researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and Seoul National University suggests that persons deficient in vitamin D may be at much greater risk of developing diabetes. The scientists studied a cohort of 903 healthy adults (mean age: 74) with no indications of either pre-diabetes or diabetes during clinic visits from 1997 to 1999,…

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Matrix-forming proteins

Experimental targeted therapy might prevent heart failure

Scientists used an experimental targeted molecular therapy to block a matrix-forming protein in heart cells damaged by heart attack, reducing levels of scarred muscle tissue and saving mouse models from heart failure. Researchers at the Cincinnati Children’s Heart Institute report in the journal Circulation testing a manufactured peptide called pUR4 to block the fibronectin protein in human…

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Rising up

Anaesthesia is a story of great success

Technical innovations and the implementation of quality standards in anaesthesia have immensely increased patient safety. ‘Over the past 60 years, patient safety during anaesthesia has improved more than in any other medical discipline,’ according to Professor Achim von Goedecke MD MSc, Director of the Institute of Anaesthesiology and Critical Care at Landeskrankenhaus Steyr in Upper Austria.

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Abdominal fat

For women with kidney cancer, belly fat matters

Belly fat affects the odds of women surviving kidney cancer but not men, according to a new study by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Half of female kidney cancer patients with substantial abdominal fat at the time of diagnosis died within 3 1/2 years, while more than half of women with little belly fat were still alive 10 years later, the researchers found.…

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Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s

The role of misfolded proteins in neurodegenerative diseases

Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease may have more in common than their effects on the functions of the brain and spinal cord. And finding that common thread could lead to a treatment that could work for all three. A recent study by David Smith, associate professor of biochemistry in the West Virginia University School of Medicine, suggests that at the heart of all three…

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DNA research

Stroke: largest-ever genetic study provides new insight

An international research group, including scientists at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, studying 520,000 people from around the world has identified 22 new genetic risk factors for stroke, tripling the number of gene regions known to affect stroke risk. The results show that stroke shares genetic influences with other vascular conditions, especially blood pressure, but also…

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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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Leveling intensity

Even two minutes of activity can reduce death risk

Walking 10,000 steps a day or a doing a quick workout from a phone app - all of those tactics could work to reduce risk of disease and death, according to new research. The study found that even brief trips up and down stairs would count toward accumulated exercise minutes and reducing health risks so long as the intensity reaches a moderate or vigorous level. The most dramatic improvements in…

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Major success

Colorectal cancer deaths go down 7% - but it's too early to celebrate yet

The decline in cancer of the intestines – colorectal cancer – is one of the major success stories of the past 30 years in Europe say researchers, as they predict that in 2018 death rates from the disease will continue to fall by around seven per cent compared to 2012. In a study published in the leading cancer journal Annals of Oncology, researchers predict that death rates in the European…

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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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Celesteion PET-CT

Making a difference with Dual Modality Imaging

The Clinica Creu Blanca Diagnostic Group in Barcelona, Spain, is the first clinic in Europe to use Canon Medical System’s new Celesteion PET-CT Scanner. Dr. Xavier Alomar, Head of the Diagnostic Imaging Department at the Clinic, explains how the new system has opened up a large field of diagnostic possibilities for the Group in Metabolic Medicine in Oncology, Neurology, Cardio­logy and…

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An era of turbulence and innovation

The birth and rebirth of imaging

The New Horizons Lecture at the RSNA annual meeting is a keynote address that looks to the future, and the inventor of a major innovation in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology, Daniel K Sodickson MD PhD, did just that. His lecture entitled ‘A New Light: The Birth and Rebirth of Imaging’ looked back at how MRI has evolved and forward at what it will become.

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Don't turn a blind eye

Annual dilated eye exams key in preventing diabetic eye disease

Diabetic eye disease is the leading cause of blindness among people ages 40 to 60. The longer you have diabetes, the greater your likelihood of developing vision problems increases. Keeping blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels under control can help people with diabetes maintain good eye health. They must also have a dilated eye exam once a year, says Dr. Malav Joshi, an…

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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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A map to the heart

The meaning of heart geometry in surgery

Geometry is often referenced for matters of the heart. Marriage has been described as “two parallel lines,” and others have compared love to an “irrational equation” or as unending as “pi.” But when it comes to the medical matters of the heart, geometry can be a lonely and dangerous affair. “The shape and size of a heart is not the same for every person, and a diseased heart, such…

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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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Is the "American Dream" slipping away?

Drugs, alcohol and suicides contributing to alarming drop in US life expectancy

Drugs, alcohol and suicides are contributing to an alarming drop in US life expectancy, particularly among middle-aged white Americans and those living in rural communities, warn experts in The BMJ. They argue that the ideal of the “American Dream” is increasingly out of reach as social mobility declines, and fewer children face a better future than their parents.

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No more joint replacement?

Small molecule could make a big difference for arthritis patients

Will there come a time when a patient with arthritis can forgo joint replacement surgery in favor of a shot? Keck School of Medicine of USC scientist Denis Evseenko, MD, PhD, has reason to be optimistic. In a new publication in the Annals of Rheumatic Diseases, Evseenko’s team describes the promise of a new molecule aptly named “Regulator of Cartilage Growth and Differentiation,” or RCGD…

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Hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS)

Stem cells might be the key to treating rare cardiac defect

Children's Hospital Los Angeles is announcing participation in the first-ever clinical trial using stem cells from umbilical cord blood to delay or even prevent heart failure in children born with a rare congenital heart defect that leaves them with half a heart. The Phase I study is part of a multi-center collaboration dedicated to employing innovative therapies to improve outcomes for children…

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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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Automation in radiology

Machine learning techniques generate clinical labels of medical scans

Researchers used machine learning techniques, including natural language processing algorithms, to identify clinical concepts in radiologist reports for CT scans, according to a study conducted at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and published in the journal Radiology. The technology is an important first step in the development of artificial intelligence that could interpret scans and…

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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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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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Animal testing

Can mice really mirror humans when it comes to cancer?

A new Michigan State University study is helping to answer a pressing question among scientists of just how close mice are to people when it comes to researching cancer. The findings, now published in PLOS Genetics, reveal how mice can actually mimic human breast cancer tissue and its genes, even more so than previously thought, as well as other cancers including lung, oral and esophagus.…

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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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Sugar and health

The not so sweet side of Christmas

A new video by the University of Warwick highlights a bitter side to our sugar consumption at Christmas. The short film highlights how excessive consumption of sugar can affect our health – and how the sugar trade in the past and today has caused inequality and bloodshed. Today Britons eat too much sugar, on average 10 per cent of our daily calories come from sugar which is equivalent to 60 g…

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Duchenne

Researchers create skeletal muscle from stem cells

Scientists from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) have developed a new strategy to efficiently isolate, mature and transplant skeletal muscle cells created from human pluripotent stem cells, which can produce all cell types of the body. The findings are a major step towards developing a stem cell replacement therapy for muscle diseases including Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, which…

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Christmas isolation

Holiday loneliness can be harmful to seniors’ health

The holidays are supposed to be a happy time of the year, but many isolated seniors often are left feeling lonely — which can be harmful to their health. Loneliness is linked to serious medical conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease, stroke and heart disease as well as a higher risk of premature death. But loneliness can be easily overlooked as a health risk because healthcare providers…

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Ventricular tachycardia

Deadly heart rhythm halted by noninvasive radiation therapy

Radiation therapy often is used to treat cancer patients. Now, doctors at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have shown that radiation therapy — aimed directly at the heart — can be used to treat patients with a life-threatening heart rhythm. They treated five patients who had irregular heart rhythms, called ventricular tachycardia, at the School of Medicine. The patients…

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Prognosis and diagnosis

Deep insight into the heart

By no means are only elderly people at risk from heart diseases. Physically active individuals can also be affected, for example if a seemingly harmless flu bug spreads to the heart muscle. Should this remain undetected and if, for example, a builder continues with his strenuous job or an athlete carries on training, this can lead to chronic inflammation and in the worst case even to sudden…

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Study

Secrets of Ebola uncovered - in the heart of a devastating outbreak

In a comprehensive and complex molecular study of blood samples from Ebola patients in Sierra Leone, published in Cell Host and Microbe, a scientific team led by the University of Wisconsin–Madison has identified signatures of Ebola virus disease that may aid in future treatment efforts. Conducting a sweeping analysis of everything from enzymes to lipids to immune-system-associated molecules,…

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Smart phone sized ultrasound

Emergency ultrasound training

Training was at the heart of the biggest annual fair in the world, thanks to the newly introduced Medica Academy sessions, i.e. full-day seminars that dealt with practical questions, current techniques and advances in medicine. One of the hot topics tackled by the new format was emergency ultrasound, as renowned experts such as Dr Wolfgang Heinz from Stuttgart gave hands-on training on this…

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BeneVision Patient Monitoring Solution

Envisioning the future of patient monitoring

30 years ago, monitoring in most intensive care environments was via an ECG display with a numeric value for heart rate combined with intermittent manual measurements of blood pressure. Advances in technology have greatly increased monitoring parameters. Eight, for example, are included in the current minimum standards for monitoring under anaesthesia but more than ten further sensors are…

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In technology's firm embrace

AI could enhance or disrupt healthcare

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has enormous potential to revolutionise the delivery of healthcare, being able to remove the drudgery’ of routine tasks, join up fragmented care records, trigger alerts when abnormal results occur, speed-up the process of identifying clusters of patients by digging deep into electronic health records, and increase efficiency of healthcare staff resources.

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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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Predictive technology

New software enables early diagnosis of arteriosclerosis

Little exercise, fatty food and too many cigarettes – factors like these aid the onset of arterial calcification, also known as arteriosclerosis. If blood can no longer be pumped through arteries properly, this can lead to a heart attack or stroke. Doctors are typically only able to diagnose the disease once it reaches an advanced stage. Computer scientists at the University of Kaiserslautern…

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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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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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Mortality decrease

Newborns with trisomy 13 or 18 benefit from heart surgery

Heart surgery significantly decreases in-hospital mortality among infants with either of two genetic disorders that cause severe physical and intellectual disabilities, according to a new study by a researcher at the Stanford University School of Medicine and his colleagues at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Trisomy 13 and 18, which result from having extra chromosomes, often…

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Cancer research

Esophageal cancer “cell of origin” identified

Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) researchers have identified cells in the upper digestive tract that can give rise to Barrett’s esophagus, a precursor to esophageal cancer. The discovery of this “cell of origin” promises to accelerate the development of more precise screening tools and therapies for Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal adenocarcinoma, the fastest growing form of…

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Side effects

Do common acid reflux medications promote chronic liver disease?

Approximately 10 percent of the general population take a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) drug to block stomach acid secretions and relieve symptoms of frequent heartburn, acid reflux and gastroesophageal reflux disease. That percentage can be as much as seven times higher for people with chronic liver disease. Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine have discovered…

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Predicting cognitive decline

Odor identification problems may be a warning bell for dementia

A long-term study of nearly 3,000 adults, aged 57 to 85, found that those who could not identify at least four out of five common odors were more than twice as likely as those with a normal sense of smell to develop dementia within five years. Although 78 percent of those tested were normal – correctly identifying at least four out of five scents – about 14 percent could name just three out…

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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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Preventing Alzheimer's

$20 million lifestyle intervention trial to prevent cognitive decline

The Alzheimer's Association announced the launch of a $20 million U.S. two-year clinical trial to test the ability of a multi-dimensional lifestyle intervention to prevent cognitive decline and dementia in 2,500 older adults with no current cognitive symptoms but who are at increased risk for later cognitive decline. The announcement was made at the 2017 Alzheimer's Association International…

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It's dangerous to go alone

Why social isolation can bring a greater risk of illness

Social isolation has been linked to a wide range of health problems, as well as a shorter lifespan in humans and other animals. In fact, during a U.S. Senate hearing on aging issues this spring, a representative for the Gerontological Society of America urged lawmakers to support programs that help older adults stay connected to their communities, stating that social isolation is a “silent…

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Clinical trial

A simple breath test could evolve breast cancer diagnostics

The University of Southern California (USC) Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center is actively recruiting for a clinical trial that is researching the effectiveness of a breath test for breast cancer diagnostics. The BreathLink device, manufactured by Menssana Research, Inc., captures a two-minute sample of a patient’s breath and provides immediate results on whether there are indications of breast…

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Animal testing

Scientists identify protein linked to chronic heart failure

Researchers in Japan have identified a receptor protein on the surface of heart cells that promotes chronic heart failure. The study, “Corticotropin releasing hormone receptor 2 exacerbates chronic cardiac dysfunction” suggests that inhibiting this protein could help treat a disease that affects more than 20 million people worldwide.

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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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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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Baldness

Why do shorter men go bald more often?

Short men may have an increased risk of becoming bald prematurely. An international genetic study under the leadership of the University of Bonn at least points in this direction. During the study, the scientists investigated the genetic material of more than 20,000 men. Their data show that premature hair loss is linked to a range of various physical characteristics and illnesses. The work has…

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Stress Research

Chronic stress neurons discovered

A novel population of neurons that are only activated following chronic stress is identified. Today, stress is part of everyday life. However, when stress is chronic it can lead to distressing illnesses such as depression and anxiety disorders. In their latest study, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry in Munich have identified a population of neurons in the hypothalamus that…

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Infections

Philips and Diagnostics Development win European Union ‘Horizon Prize – Better Use of Antibiotics’

Philips and Diagnostics Development, a P&M Venge company, evaluate the novel human neutrophil lipocalin (HNL) biomarker for the rapid detection of bacterial infection. Based on Philips’ Minicare I-20 handheld diagnostics platform, the Minicare HNL assay is recognized for its potential to provide physicians with 10-minute confirmation of bacterial infection, helping to ensure that…

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Sarcoidosis

Penn Medicine Launches First Apple ResearchKit App for Sarcoidosis Patients

Penn Medicine today launched its first Apple ResearchKit app, focused on patients with sarcoidosis, an inflammatory condition that can affect the lungs, skin, eyes, heart, brain, and other organs. The effort marks Penn’s first time using modules from Apple’s ResearchKit framework, as part of the institution’s focus on mobile health and innovative research strategies.

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Healthy Eating

Study Finds Association Between Eating Hot Peppers and Decreased Mortality

Like spicy food? If so, you might live longer, say researchers at the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont, who found that consumption of hot red chili peppers is associated with a 13 percent reduction in total mortality – primarily in deaths due to heart disease or stroke – in a large prospective study. The study was published recently in PLoS ONE.

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Management

Big Data power will improve healthcare

Big Data sits at the heart of addressing the challenges that will lead to a more sustainable health and social care system. Hospitals and health systems must embrace a Big Data approach if they are to deliver better care for patients according to Dr Mark Davies, Medical Director of healthcare analytics company MedeAnalytics. Report: Mark Nicholls

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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…

Contrast agents

MultiHance receives approval for use in MRI of the whole body

Bracco Imaging S.p.A., a global leading company in the diagnostic imaging business, today announced the approval of the use of MultiHance® (gadobenate dimeglumine) in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of the whole body in adults and paediatric patients (> 2 years). The approval was obtained through a Mutual Recognition Procedure, with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency…

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Using MRI scans

Refining the criteria used to diagnose MS at an early stage

The 32nd Congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis opened in London (September 14-17) and key presentations reveal the latest evidence-based thinking on how to use MRI scan results to diagnose MS with increasing accuracy. Earlier this year, MAGNIMS, the European Collaborative Research Network that studies the use of MRI when diagnosing MS, published…

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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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Noninvasive

Tremor: scalpel-free surgery proves effective

A study published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine offers the most in-depth assessment yet of the safety and effectiveness of a high-tech alternative to brain surgery to treat the uncontrollable shaking caused by the most common movement disorder. And the news is very good.

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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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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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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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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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Stroke

Imaging in intra-arterial interventions

Stroke patients will first undergo a CT scan as they enter the hospital. Before any further imaging scan is carried out, the medical team must decide whether they need to intervene intra or extra cranially. ‘Imaging enables you to see which pathology you are dealing with and helps you select patients for either recanalisation or revascularisation or, in some cases, occlusion by embolisation,’…

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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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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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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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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…

Staphylococcus aureus

Women more likely to die within 30-days from bacterial blood infection

Clinicians around the world have long suspected that bacteraemia due to Staphylococcus aureus has a worse outcome in women compared to men, but direct evidence has been elusive. A study just published confirms that significantly more women than men diagnosed with Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia (SAB) – a blood infection of the common bacteria – die within 30 days.

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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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video-assisted thoracoscopic

Revolutionary surgery for lung cancer

The University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre (CRCHUM) is launching a major international clinical trial to test a minimally invasive and safer surgical approach for patients with lung cancer: video-assisted thoracoscopic (VATS) lobectomy with ultrasonic pulmonary artery sealing.

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Respiratory support

Extracorporeal technology eases stress

Conventional therapy for ARDS patients and for patients with exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has relied on invasive mechanical ventilation. Mechanical ventilation, however, has several major drawbacks: sedation has to be induced and the air being pressed into the lungs with positive pressure can damage the pulmonary alveoli or the diaphragm. Moreover, even maximum…

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Plaque

Research suggests new contributor to heart disease

Medical professionals have long known that the buildup of plaque in arteries can cause them to narrow and harden, potentially leading to a whole host of health problems — including heart attack, heart disease and stroke. While high blood pressure and artery stiffness are often associated with plaque buildup, new research from engineers at Washington University in St. Louis shows they are not…

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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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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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Breakthrough

How Dual Source technology is revolutionizing CT

Since launching Somatom Definition in 2005, Siemens has continued to develop Dual Source technology in order to overcome the remaining challenges in computed tomography. This significant development has made it possible to produce diagnostic images of a patient’s beating heart and coronary vessels without having to artificially lower their heart rate, for example. Scanning speeds that were…

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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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Virus

The Zika mystery: scapegoat or villain?

From the beginning the accusation somehow beggared belief. A ‘mild’ virus was blamed for causing hideous malformations in babies’ heads. Brazil, a country suffering its worst recession since the 1930s, as well as political upheaval, became the focus of a worldwide healthcare scare.

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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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Drug delivery vehicles

Soap bubbles for treating stenosed blood vessels

Liposomes are currently used as drug delivery vehicles but recognized by the immune system. Scientists from the universities of Basel and Fribourg have shown that special artificial liposomes do not elicit any reaction in human and porcine sera as well as pigs. The study was published in the Journal Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology, and Medicine.

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Precision imaging

Myth or reality? Focusing on personalised radiology

With precision imaging playing a greater role in daily radiology practice as patients receive ever more personalised care, the detail and extent of that shift is outlined in the ECR session ‘Personalised radiology: myth or reality?’, which includes a presentation from renowned radiologist Professor Gabriel Krestin, chairman of the radiology and nuclear medicine department at Erasmus MC,…

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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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Discovery

Blueprint of body's heat sensor

Touch a hot stove, and your fingers will recoil in pain because your skin carries tiny temperature sensors that detect heat and send a message to your brain saying, "Ouch! That's hot! Let go!" The pain is real and it serves a purpose, otherwise we'd suffer greater injury. But for many people with chronic pain, that signal keeps getting sent for months or years, even when there is no…

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MERS

First reported autopsy of patient with MERS provides critical insights

Since 2012, at least 1,500 individuals have developed Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), resulting in more than 500 fatalities. Only now are results being reported of the first autopsy of a MERS patient, which was performed in 2014. Not only do these findings, published in The American Journal of Pathology, provide unprecedented, clinically-relevant insights about how MERS progresses, they…

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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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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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VenomKB

World's first therapeutic venom database

What doesn't kill you could cure you. A growing interest in the therapeutic value of animal venom has led a pair of Columbia University data scientists to create the first catalog of known animal toxins and their physiological effects on humans.

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Cardiology

3D scans spot earliest signs of heart disease

Researchers have shown that people with high blood pressure develop changes in their hearts even before symptoms appear. These changes are known to put people at risk of dying early, and the new work suggests it is possible for doctors to recognise such signs of heart disease earlier than they can today - by examining detailed images of the heart.

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Genes

Blame your health problems on your grandfather

If you have diabetes, or cancer or even heart problems, maybe you should blame it on your dad’s behaviour or environment. Or even your grandfather’s. That’s because, in recent years, scientists have shown that, before his offspring are even conceived, a father’s life experiences involving food, drugs, exposure to toxic products and even stress can affect the development and health not…

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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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Mystery solved

Key Element of cellular organization found

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital scientists have discovered evidence of a mechanism at the heart of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and related degenerative diseases. The research highlights a possible new treatment strategy for the devastating disorders.

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Study

Spheroid stem cell production sows hope for IPF treatment

In a small pilot study, researchers from North Carolina State University have demonstrated a rapid, simple way to generate large numbers of lung stem cells for use in disease treatment. This method of harvesting and growing a patient’s own lung stem cells shows promise in mice for treating idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), and could one day provide human IPF sufferers with an effective, less…

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Research breakthrough in fight against muscle wasting diseases

It is estimated that half of all cancer patients suffer from a muscle wasting syndrome called cachexia. Cancer cachexia impairs quality of life and response to therapy, which increases morbidity and mortality of cancer patients. Currently, there is no approved treatment for muscle wasting but a new study from the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) and University…

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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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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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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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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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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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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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Therapy

Approach to reverse kidney damage

Adults who are worried or terrified sometimes curl up into a fetal position. Likewise, adult cells that are injured, including genetic injury leading to cancer, initiate a process that was present during embryonic development.

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Siemens Computed Tomography

40 Years at the cutting edge of technological development

40 years after the launch of its first series model, Siretom, Siemens Healthcare is looking back on the successful development of its computed tomography division. With innovations such as Spiral, Multislice, and most recently Dual Source technology, Siemens has been driving the CT market and clinical diagnostics for decades. Today, three patients are scanned with a Siemens CT system every…

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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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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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Cardiology III

Restrictive ruling on cardiac procedure

In the future, TAVIs can only be carried out in German hospitals with cardiac surgery departments and cardiac wards, as decided by the German Government’s Expert Panel on Health (G-BA) last January. An interim arrangement in force until 2016 is anticipated for Heart Centres that currently carry out the TAVI procedure without cardiac surgery departments on site. The Federal Ministry of Health is…

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POCT

This market will boom

The turnover in POCT diagnostics will continue to increase substantially according to participants in an ‘In Vitro Diagnostic Products’ meeting held in Toronto, Canada last October. Sponsored by the German Institute for Standardisation, the event included participation by the DIN Standards Committee Medicine (NAMed; NA 063) and the Working Committee on Point of Care Testing (POCT) (NA…

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Telehealth study

England’s Florence looks like a winner

Given the increasing focus on telehealth and telecare services aimed at improving long-term patients’ living conditions and save costs, numerous pilots in various countries have been conducted for proof of concept purposes. Among these, the United Kingdom’s ‘Whole System Demonstrator’ (WSD) programme is the largest randomised controlled trial. Set up by the English National Health Service…

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Health Apps

Can medical apps replace conventional medical diagnostics?

The question as to whether or not there is a point in using medical apps on private smartphones is being asked more frequently. Issues around medical diagnostics are among the key points here. We asked Prof. Dr. Dr. Norbert Gässler, Head of the Centre for Laboratory Diagnostics at the St. Bernward Hospital, Hildesheim, for competent advice. Interview: Walter Depner

Study

British lung transplant patients fare better than Americans

Publicly insured Americans who undergo lung transplantation for cystic fibrosis fare markedly worse in the long run than both publicly insured patients in the United Kingdom and privately insured Americans, according to the results of a study conducted by researchers from Johns Hopkins in Baltimore and U.K. colleagues working in that nation’s government-funded National Health Service.

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Diagnostics

Part II: Iron deficiency and anaemia

Iron deficiency and resulting anaemia cause fatal comorbidities worldwide. Despite this, they are generally underestimated. Professor Lothar Thomas, specialist in laboratory medicine at the Central Laboratory in the Frankfurt/Main University Hospital, is seeking more information about new laboratory parameters for diagnosis and monitoring of iron deficiency and iron substitution therapy. The…

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Twitter

Twitter can predict rates of coronary heart disease

Twitter has broken news stories, launched and ended careers, started social movements and toppled governments, all by being an easy, direct and immediate way for people to share what's on their minds. Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania have now shown that the social media platform has another use: Twitter can serve as a dashboard indicator of a community's psychological well being…

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Diagnostics

Iron deficiency and anaemia

Iron deficiency and resulting anaemia cause fatal comorbidities worldwide. Despite this, they are generally underestimated. Professor Lothar Thomas, specialist in laboratory medicine at Central Laboratory of the University Hospital of Frankfurt/Main, is calling for more information about the new laboratory parameters for diagnosis and monitoring of iron deficiency and iron substitution therapy.

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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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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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A new tool for biochemical analyses

Although telemedicine could improve the quality of life of patients with chronic liver diseases, viable home care systems are still lacking. However, within the EU-project ‘d-LIVER’ (www.d-liver.eu) scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering IBMT, in St. Ingbert, Germany, are working with European partners to develop an IT- and cell-based system that will help chronic…

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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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To pulse or not to pulse

Whether mechanical, temporary cardiac assist systems should pulsate in the same way as a biological heart is a discussion topic, which raises the pulse rates amongst all those involved within the industry and in hospitals.

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Oocyte modification

USA - Oocyte modification to eliminate inherited mitochondrial defects in a human embryo was the subject of a globally scrutinised Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hearing held in February.

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Agreement between Edwards Lifesciences and Medtronic

Edwards Lifesciences Corporation, the global leader in the science of heart valves and hemodynamic monitoring, announced that the company has reached an agreement with Medtronic to settle all outstanding patent litigation between the companies, including cases related to transcatheter heart valves.

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Researchers Find Protein 'Switch' Central to Heart Cell Division

In a study that began in a pair of infant siblings with a rare heart defect, Johns Hopkins researchers say they have identified a key molecular switch that regulates heart cell division and normally turns the process off around the time of birth. Their research, they report, could advance efforts to turn the process back on and regenerate heart tissue damaged by heart attacks or disease.

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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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Predictive analysis

The USA’s healthcare system has awakened to the fact that electronically stored health patient data can save billions of dollars. Predictive analysis of ‘Big Data’ is a hot topic.The USA’s healthcare system has awakened to the fact that electronically stored health patient data can save billions of dollars. Predictive analysis of ‘Big Data’ is a hot topic.

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Responses to six misperceptions

Ageing populations, struggling healthcare systems, medical staff shortages, rising costs – all are well recognised. Thus telemedicine, dubbed the ‘gold rush of the 21st century’ earlier in the year by Jonathan D Linkous, CEO of the American Telemedicine Association (ATA), is gaining momentum.

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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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The ESPOIR Study

Professor Axel Haverich and team at the Clinic for Cardiothoracic, Transplant and Vascular Surgery in Hanover Medical School (MHH) have been carrying out research into decellularised heart valves for over 15 years. They trialled a procedure – initially in the laboratory and in animal experiments – which does not cause tissue rejection, is hoped to last a lifetime and, in the case of children,…

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Chronic disease

There is a global shortage of doctors that is getting worse every year. With the demographic shift in many countries from a predominantly young to an increasing aging population, a steep increase in chronic disease is occurring.

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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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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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Top billing for cardiac MRI

Today, magnetic resonance imaging receives top billing in cardiology next to the co-star computed tomography while much hailed single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) plays but a minor role.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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The new Alder Hey Children’s Hospital

Britain’s many new hospitals are more than brave architectural statements – they consistently win awards, inspire others and, above all, improve life for all who use them. Now another stunning creation is about to rise. Despite beginning life as a workhouse for the poor, and having to grow in bleak, outdated buildings, in its near 100- year history Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool…

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Celebrating 20 Years of ESTI

This congress was a celebration, marking 20 years since the founding of ESTI, which began as a small group of founding members and has grown to become thriving society contributing to the education in Europe and encouraging worldwide.

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The future of thoracic imaging

Will MRI become routine modality? Today, thoracic MRI is rarely performed in Europe. But this will change over the next decade, predicts Professor Hans-Ulrich Kauczor, Medical Director of the Radiology Clinic at University Hospital Heidelberg. He expects Germany to be at the forefront of this development because MRI technology, despite the high costs, is already widely used here and because CT…

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Hybrid imaging: Virtual FDG-PET/CT bronchoscopy

Virtual FDG-PET/CT bronchoscopy has been found to be a technically feasible tool for the detection of lymph node metastases in non-small cell lung cancer patients with good diagnostic accuracy, according to researchers at the Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, University Hospital Dusseldorf and Essen.

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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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Philips and the World Association of Sleep Medicine join together

Royal Philips Electronics will join with the World Association of Sleep Medicine (WASM) as an official sponsor of World Sleep Day 2012. This year’s theme– ‘Breathe Easily, Sleep Well’ – centers on raising awareness of sleep disorders that affect a person’s breathing, such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

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ECR 2013: Cardiac imaging is picking up speed

They examine the structure of the heart muscle with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or evaluate the status of the coronary vessels with computed tomography (CT): radiologists increasingly use imaging methods to prevent or to assess cardiac diseases.

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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…

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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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Strong international feedback gives “MedTech” industry tailwind for exports

Summing up results of the world’s biggest medical trade fair after four days (16 – 19 November 2011) Joachim Schäfer, Managing Director at Messe Düsseldorf, said: “The manufacturers of medical device technology, medical products and medical IT have once again used the framework of MEDICA in Düsseldorf to impressively evidence their operational excellence.

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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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Trivialising breast cancer kills women

‘As we become more successful in the early detection and treatment of breast cancer, we tend to trivialise it. Yet one in 9 women still get breast cancer. Half of them become depressed, their partners don’t know how to react and their families are in disarray. We need to stop trivialising breast cancer. It kills women.’ So says Dr Fabienne Liebens, Head of the Saint-Pierre Hospital’s…

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Personalized medicine could help to save 100 billion Euros

Despite huge increases in spending over the last three decades, progress in dealing with the most frequent and burdensome diseases is appalling. The EU Flagship Pilot IT Future of Medicine (ITFoM) could remedy that. The flagship‘s investments of 1 billion euros in the course of the next decade are expected to save up to 100 billion euros per year in health expenditures in the future.

Ultra High Field Magnetic Resonance

2011 brought a second year for European and US scientists to meet up at the Annual Scientific Symposium on Ultra High Field Magnetic Resonance, held at the Max Delbrück Centre for Molecular Medicine Berlin-Buch (MDC), Germany, to present and discuss their recent findings. Along with technical improvements, the main issues of the one-day gathering were cardiac, cerebral and molecular MR imaging.…

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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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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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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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Trends in cardiac pacing

‘Sacrilegious meddling with divine providence’ was the charge brought against New York cardiologist Alfred Hyman in the 1930s when, after successful animal experiments, he applied the first cardiac pacemaker – then still a cumbersome external device – in human patients. A quarter of a century later the first cardiac pacemaker, mounted in a shoe polish tin and covered by epoxy resin, was…

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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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‘Our products are competitive’

In recent years the ultrasound division of Siemens Healthcare appeared to be a Sleeping Beauty slumbering on in the shadow of large slice imaging equipment such as PET/CT and MR/PET, the medical technology giant’s favourite daughters. With many of the world’s wealthy princes, particularly from India, Brazil, China, and so on, knocking on Siemens’ doors, the giant has at last decided to wake…

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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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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…

Tele-echocardiography identifies healthy though aged donor hearts

A Pisa-based team has established the Adonhers (Aged Donor Heart Rescue by Stress Echo) protocol and is using second-opinion stress tele-echocardiography to assess the condition of the heart from older donors. A key aspect of this was to raise the donor cut-off age limit from 55 to 65 years, where the stress echo screening on the candidate donor showed as normal.

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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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ECR 2011 prelude

Vienna - For the 23rd time, the European Congress of Radiology (ECR) is opening its doors to welcome 19,000 participants from over 90 countries. The scientific exchange of knowledge and the presentation of the latest developments in the field of radiology will again be presented right in the heart of Europea. In an inaugural press conference on March 3rd, the hot topics of the congress were…

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Anything but standard

Although paediatric laboratory medicine and clinical chemistry is a well and long established scientific field, it is still a challenging one with its own special problems, as Dr Massimiliano Cantinotti, Paediatric Cardiologist Consultant at Fondazione G Monasterio, National Research Institute, Massa, Italy, well knows.

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PET/MR receives CE Mark

Royal Philips Electronics is announcing CE marking for the industry’s first commercially available whole body PET/MR imaging system, the Ingenuity TF PET/MR*. This new system, being launched as the first new Philips modality in ten years, integrates the molecular imaging capabilities of PET with the superior soft tissue contrast of MR to image disease cells as they proliferate in soft tissue.…

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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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POCT brings values

Bedside testing of parameters has been introduced in clinical practice much earlier than laboratory testing: In past centuries, not only were temperature or pulse rate taken at the point of care (POC), but also qualitative blood or urine analysis were performed right next to a patient’s bed

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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Pocket-size echocardiography

When a patient needs transthoracic or transoesophageal echocardiograms there are two options – transportation to an ultrasound machine in the echo lab, or wheeling a machine to the bedside. Now there is a third option. The new Vscan from GE Healthcare is a hand-held ultrasound device that is pocket-size; cardiologists can carry with them at all times, enabling ultrasound to be a part of any…

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seca 360° wireless

When seca gmbh & co. kg presents the new product system seca 360° wireless at MEDICA 2010, the focus will be on saving time when weighing, measuring and analyzing results, preventing measurement errors, streamlining the analysis and presentation of measurements and optimizing patient consultation. Developed specifically in response to the needs of medical weighing and measuring, the futuristic…

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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.

World Stroke Day

With the “World Stroke Day” the World Stroke Organization (WSO) aims to communicate a unified message to the world: stroke is a preventable and treatable catastrophe, and together we can fight this growing epidemic. This year’s theme is “Stroke‐What can I do?” The answer is ‐ a lot. The WSO prompts individuals, groups and governments to take action against stroke either at a…

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Biomarkers - Keys to prevention and early detection

Biomarkers as the key to prevention and early detection were the subject this autumn at the 7th Annual Congress of the German Society for Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (DGKL) in Mannheim. For the DGKL president Professor Karl J Lackner MD, Director of the Institute for Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine at Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, the topic is of increasing…

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Stroke - New options for prevention and therapy

It’s hardly surprising that stroke was a focus at the 20th meeting of the European Neurological Society (ENS) -- every year at least a million people suffer one in the EU. In an interview with Bettina Döbereiner, Professor Karl Max Einhäupl, Director of the Department of Neurology at the Charité - University of Medicine Berlin, of which he is Chairman of the Board and co-chair of the ENS…

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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.

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Seeking the genetic basis of diabetes

Researchers have identified 12 new genes associated with Type 2 diabetes (T2D) that look set to improve the understanding of the processes underpinning the condition. The findings could also offer new biological pathways that can be explored as targets for new therapies to tackle T2D.

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The European Health Forum Gastein

More than 600 distinguished guests from 40 countries are expected at this year’s European Health Forum Gastein (EHFG). ‘Since its foundation in 1998, the EHFG has developed into an international meeting point for the highest-ranking healthcare politicians, managers and scientists from all over the world,’ said EHFG President Professor Günther Leiner.

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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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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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Rethink breast cancer surgery

Italian surgeon and oncologist Prof. Dr. Umberto Veronesi, Founder and Scientific Director of the European Institute of Oncology in Milan and former National Health Minister (2000 – 2001), is considered to be one of the biggest authorities on breast cancer research of our time. Many breakthrough changings in cancer medicine sustainably go back on his researches, which once earned him also a…

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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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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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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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Cardiometabolic risk assessment

The identification of cardiometabolic risk is one of the most frequently performed standard examinations, which many European health insurers even require for patients of a certain age. Up to now, physicians had to calculate the value manually on the basis of certain parameters – a time-consuming task. Seca, which specialises in medical scales, now offers 360° wireless, which not only measures…

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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.

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…

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…

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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.

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The two faces of HIV/AIDS in the brain

The Opening Lecture at ECR always draws immense attention. On March 4th, it was the “First Lady of Radiology” as Congress President M. Szczerbo-Trojanowska called her, Professor Dr Anne G. Osborn, University of Utah, USA, who opened the event. The internationally renowned doctor of diagnostic neuroradiology spoke about “The two faces of HIV/AIDS in the brain” – a matter close to her…

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MR-Elastography

Physicians, over many centuries, have depended on the sense of touch as their hands on method to detect diseases in many body areas. This technique is called palpation. However, though it was known that abnormalities in the stiffness or mechanical environment in tissue may have a profound impact on how many diseases progress, conventional imaging modalities could not display tissue stiffness in…

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Adolescent obesity - a major European concern

Computer games, TV, fast food, lack of exercise – what will be the medical consequences of rising obesity in the young and what can be done about it? Pernille Due, at the National Institute of Public Health, University of Southern Denmark in Copenhagen, studied 162,305 adolescents in 35 countries aged 11-15 years old.

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The future of MRI in Europe - Safetey yes, exposure limits no

The Alliance for MRI aims to ensure that the threat posed by the EU Physical Agents 2004/40/EC (EMF) to the future of MR is averted and that patients in Europe will not be precluded from state-of-the-art healthcare services. In early 2010 the European Parliament and Council will be sent a proposal from the European Commission to amend Directive 2004/40/EC on electromagnetic fields. This revision…

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ESR - a major stakeholder in EU health policies

EU legislation could have a huge impact on medical imaging and healthcare, and the European Society of Radiology (ESR) is playing a key role in safeguarding radiologists and patients' interests. By closely monitoring EU affairs and establishing contacts with relevant institutions, as well as consulting and public affairs agencies, the ESR tries to draw the attention of relevant stakeholders and…

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…

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MEDICA 2009: Successful anniversary

The specialists from hospitals and doctors’ surgeries obviously did not want to miss out on the 40th anniversary of MEDICA. Over the four days of the event this, the world’s largest medical trade fair (from 18 to 21 November 2009), registered almost 138,000 trade visitors from over 100 countries (previous year: 137,000 visitors). 45% of visitors came from abroad (2008: 42%), a particularly…

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…

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The 2009 Bernhard Dräger Award

Dr Vasilios Papaioannou, of the Democritus University of Thrace in Alexandroupoli, Greece, received the €15,000 Bernhard Dräger Award for Advanced Treatment of Acute Respiratory Failure during the opening of The European Society for Intensive Care Medicine (ESICM) annual conference in Vienna.

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A 7-Tesla in clinical diagnostics?

Most of the 30 institutes around the world that work with a 7-Tesla MRI scanner do not focus on answering questions about the clinical benefit of this field strength; their efforts revolve around the brain and neurosciences. One exception is the Erwin L Hahn, at the Institute for Magnetic Resonance Imaging, which is based at the Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex, a World Heritage Site in…

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An affair of the heart

The heart of cardiac radiology set the rhythm for this October's 10th Annual Meeting of the European Society of Cardiac Radiology (ESCR) in Leipzig, when state-of-the art technology and progress in cardiac imaging were introduced alongside an educational programme that catered for experienced as well as novice cardiac radiologists

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Hepatocellular carcinoma

Cases of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), one of the most frequently occurring cancers throughout the world, are expected to increase dramatically in the next 10-15 years in Germany alone. The main reason is the increased occurrence of fatty hepatitis. Thus, in the future, interventional radiologists will also be increasingly involved in HCC patients treatment.

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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Cutting costs with medical technology

Medical technology innovation, often viewed as a cost-driver can also be the key to cost-cutting in healthcare while at the same time improve the health outcome for patients. This was the core message of an experts' panel organised by the European Health Technology Institute for Socio-Economic Research (EHTI) at the European Health Forum Gastein.

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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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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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Public health puzzle - inequalities in health

In almost all of the industrialised countries, the general health status - as indicated for example by infant mortality, prevalence of disease, subjective health and life expectancy - has improved during the last four decades. At the same time, however, there is a proven close correlation between good and poor health and high and low socioeconomic status.

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Revolutionary approach to heart failure

British girl Hannah Clark who was given an extra heart as a toddler has become the world's first heart transplant patient to make a full recovery after having her donor organ removed and function restored to her original heart. The case highlights that in some cases of cardiomyopathy, it is possible for the patient's own heart to make a full recovery if it is given adequate support to do so.

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RUT -

A system of national quality registers, established in recent decades in Sweden's health and medical services, now numbers 64 registers. Along with three competence centres, these cover, for example, diabetes mellitus (NRD), dementia (SeDEM), Swedish intensive care (SIR) and acute coronary care (RIKS-HIA), and the Register Ulcer Treatment (RUT), which was added at the dawn of 2007. The latter has…

New therapy found to prevent heart failure

A landmark study has successfully demonstrated a 29 percent reduction in heart failure or death in patients with heart disease who received an implanted cardiac resynchronization therapy device with defibrillator (CRT-D) versus patients who received only an implanted cardiac defibrillator (ICD-only).

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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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Röntgen Prize for Marc Dewey

Berlin-based radiologist Marc Dewey will be awarded this year's Röntgen Prize for his work on the diagnosis of coronary heart diseases (CHD), one of most common and most dangerous heart conditions in the industrialized countries.

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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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Predicting atrial fibrillation with MRI

University of Utah researchers have found that delayed-enhancement magnetic resonance imaging (DE-MRI) holds promise for predicting treatment outcomes and measuring disease progression for patients with atrial fibrillation (AF), a little known heart rhythm disorder that affects more than 3.5 million Americans and causes more than 66,000 deaths a year. Their latest study on a novel application of…

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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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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.

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Changing the way we live

Marcel van Kasteel MBA, is VP of Philips and CEO of Handheld Immunoassays, a Philips Incubator venture in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, which recently announced that, by the end of this year, the first device to test for drug abuse will be marketed that will make on the spot testing simple and quick for use by the police.

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Finding new ways of monitoring elderly patients at home

Hungary is going to start a major new collaborative research programme to transform the care of elderly citizens was announced in Hungary. A broad consortium of private and public sector organisations, led by GE Healthcare has secured HUF 895 million (US $4.2 million) from the Hungarian government to research and develop new ways of monitoring the health of elderly citizens in their own homes. …

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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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The power of cardiac imaging and the invasive cardiologist

Progress in cardiac imaging diagnostics has made cardiac catheterisation less common. What may sound like 'fishing in foreign territory' is in reality the chance for interventional cardiologists to concentrate on, and specialise in, more innovative invasive procedures.

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Cardiohelp

Maquet has launched Cardiohelp, the world's smallest, lightest heart-lung machine, that can not only provide a total therapy solution for heart surgery, cardiology, intensive and emergency care, but also, due to its suitcase size and 10 kg weigh, the device can be carried by just one person onto a helicopter or ambulance for mobile use.