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Image: I-Wire Heart-on-chip; Copyright: VIIBRE Vanderbilt University

Organ-on-a-chip mimics heart's biomechanical properties

23/02/2017

The human heart beats more than 2.5 billion times in an average lifetime. Now scientists at Vanderbilt University have created a three-dimensional organ-on-a-chip that can mimic the heart's amazing biomechanical properties.
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Image: A doctor holding a sign with the words

"Anti-aging" hormone could unlock new treatments for kidney and heart disease

14/02/2017

A new study by researchers at King's College London has found that patients with diabetes suffering from the early stages of kidney disease have a deficiency of the protective "anti-ageing" hormone, Klotho.
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Image: Stacked cube sugar, in the background a spoon full of sugar; Copyright: panthermedia.net/tycoon751

Glucose or fructose: The impact of sugar on cardiovascular health

13/02/2017

The kind of consumed sugar – not only the taken quantity – can determine the risk of suffering from metabolic and vascular diseases, according to a study carried out on laboratory animals and led by Professor Marta Alegret, from the Faculty of Pharmacy and Food Sciences and the Institute of Biomedicine of the University of Barcelona (IBUB).
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Image: A toppled salt shaker and the words

UK: salt reduction strategies do not address health inequalities

07/02/2017

New research conducted by the University of Liverpool in partnership with the universities of Gdansk and Manchester shows that current salt reduction strategy in England has failed to reduce existing inequalities in salt consumption, cardiovascular disease, and gastric cancer burdens.
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Image: Graphic of a heart and a text about the risk of heart disease in postmenopausal women  ; Copyright: Rick Sciullo/UPMC

Certain heart fat associated with higher risk of heart disease in postmenopausal women

30/01/2017

A higher volume of a certain type of fat that surrounds the heart is significantly associated with a higher risk of heart disease in women after menopause and women with lower levels of estrogen at midlife, according to new research led by the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health.
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Image: Man inside a CT; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Tyler Olson

Personalized treatment for those in blood pressure 'gray zone'

18/01/2017

Using data from a national study, Johns Hopkins researchers determined that using heart CT scans can help personalize treatment in patients whose blood pressure falls in the gray zone of just above normal or mild high blood pressure. Previously, the appropriate blood pressure treatment for these patients used risk calculations and some guesswork.
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Image: Blood bags filled with blood; Copyright: panthermedia.net/vladem

Preventing mortality after myocardial infarction

04/01/2017

The University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre (CRCHUM) has been awarded a grant of 2 million dollar from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to pilot the Canadian component of a study to determine the optimal amount of blood to transfuse in anemic patients who have suffered a myocardial infarction.
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Image: A red heart behind a wall made of sugar cubes; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Moise Marius Dorin

Heart damage caused by chemotherapy is worse in diabetics

13/12/2016

Heart damage caused by chemotherapy is worse in cancer patients who also have diabetes, according to a study. "Cardiotoxicity induced by chemotherapy with anthracyclines is being increasingly reported, mainly because a smaller proportion of patients now die from cancer," said lead author Dr Ana Catarina Gomes, a cardiologist in training at the Hospital Garcia de Orta in Almada, Portugal.
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Image: Two hands holding a red heart; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Laputin

Follow-up by trained nurses helps myocardial infarction patients

12/12/2016

The quality of life of elderly myocardial infarction patients can be significantly improved without extra costs by means of so-called case management following hospitalization. Health economists from the Helmholtz Zentrum München have reported these results in the journal Value in Health.
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Image: Magnetic Field Sensor in the hand of a man; Copyright: ETH Zurich/Peter Rüegg

High-precision magnetic field sensing

05/12/2016

Researchers from the Institute for Biomedical Engineering, which is operated jointly by ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich, have succeeded in measuring tiny changes in strong magnetic fields with unprecedented precision.
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Image: A stethoscope lying on a painted heart; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Andreus

Genetic link to fatal health condition could aid future treatment

01/12/2016

"Early detection is key to this condition which, if left untreated, can become a ticking time bomb for patients", says Professor Matt Bown, University of Leicester. Thousands of lives could be saved every year after it was discovered a fatal cardiovascular condition could be linked to four genes, research has found.
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Image: Drawing of a human body, written down are risks for diabetics; Copyright: panthermedia.net/marigranula

Heart attacks in diabetics – a special danger

01/12/2016

Diabetics are not only schooled in getting a handle on their blood glucose levels, but also in looking out for possible complications. One complication of diabetes is nerve damage. It is often responsible for the so-called "diabetic foot". Something many people are not aware of is that the heart can also be put at risk by nerve damage.
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Image: Heart-shaped bowl with salt; Copyright: panthermedia.net/grafvision

Sodium intake and blood pressure: too much salt is bad for you. What about too little salt?

01/12/2016

Common salt – or sodium chloride – is essential as a stimulant for nerve conduction. What is more, sodium ions also regulate the water balance in the body. Yet when it came to salt consumption, for the longest time the rule was "less is more". However, a recent study publication calls this belief into question.
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Photo: Men and women running

Individualized sports medicine: training by design

22/06/2016

Exercise makes you healthy – oftentimes even when you are sick. That’s why doctors hardly ever recommend taking a break from it. Even patients who are about to receive a heart transplant can benefit from sports. As is so often the case, the dose makes the poison. We asked sports medicine physician Prof. Martin Halle, what people need to consider.
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Photo: Three men pose during an award ceremony

Cardiac insufficiency: early diagnosis with ultrasound

02/05/2016

Heart failure or cardiac insufficiency presents an extra strain on patients because it severally limits everyday performance and deprives them of energy. Due to their intense need for movement, children are particularly strongly affected. However, the disease is frequently not detected until the physical performance is already declining. An early diagnosis could prevent this.
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Photo: Keyboard with heart symbol

Big data in cardiology: IT platform to manage "flood of data"

01/05/2016

In addition to patient counseling and clinical diagnostics, the lion’s share of a cardiologist’s work consists of collecting data to be able to better treat future cases based on the gathered information. Until now, this data was recorded in Excel spreadsheets or many other communication platforms. A software is designed to facilitate a cross-industry exchange.
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Photo: Three-dimensional model of the right ventricle

Ultrasound: four dimensions for pediatric cardiac diagnostics

01/03/2016

Fortunately, only a handful of newborns are affected by them, though this determines if not the rest of their lives then, at least, the first few years of affected children: congenital heart defects. After the necessary surgeries, the small patients repeatedly need to return for checkups. Until now, these were conducted using MRI scans. 4D ultrasound can be an alternative.
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Photo: two physicians working at a test set-up

Atherosclerosis: Getting to the root of the problem with a turbo gene

09/02/2016

Many people suffer from atherosclerosis, especially in developed countries. The buildup of fatty deposits inside the arterial blood vessels leads to strokes and heart attacks. Now, a new method is designed to get to the root of the problem, and with the help of nanoparticles inject new turbo replacement cells into the blood vessels which are intended to exert their curative effect.
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Photo: child with broken arm

Different specialties, one goal – treating children right

01/02/2016

Children, especially newborns, are generally no longer simply considered to be small adults whose treatment just needs to be "reduced". This is why a pediatrician’s education includes several specialties because ultimately everything in terms of care comes together here.
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Photo: pipette in petri dish

Great leaps forward thanks to new methods

01/02/2016

Self-healing powers like a superhero on the big screen? That’s the aim of regenerative medicine; at least in a very broad sense. This promising field of biomedicine is currently highly dynamic with innovative technologies and development. New methods are designed to help propel medicine into a whole new sphere.
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Photo: artificial heart valve

Artificial heart valve: "The structure is meant to be broken down again by the body at a later point."

08/01/2016

There are various artificial heart valves available for children, but they have one essential drawback: they need to be replaced because the children are still growing. The artificial valve, on the other hand, remains the same size – and subsequently becomes too small. This is why an artificial heart valve that grows over time would be ideal.
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A wearable to draw a complete picture of the heart

01/09/2015

Smartphone apps and wearable sensors have the potential to help people make healthier lifestyle choices. Self-monitoring therefore is one of the core strategies for changing cardiovascular health behaviors. On the other side, patients benefit from sharing their data with doctors and electronic health record (EHR) systems.
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Fast and low radiation exposure: The newest generation gamma camera

03/08/2015

Nuclear medicine physicians use so-called gamma cameras for myocardial perfusion scintigraphy. The devices record radioactive substances that are injected into the patient and show changes in the heart muscle (myocardium). Now a new gamma camera is able to record images faster and by using much less radiation.
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ECG measurements: "Our chest strap moistens itself"

01/07/2015

When measuring myocardial activity, it is important for the skin to always stay moist under the electrodes of the ECG. Only then can data be consistently transferred. Athletes have an easier time with this: they are used to sweating. This is a lot harder for older patients.
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Transcatheter Pacing System: The world’s smallest cardiac pacemaker

01/07/2015

In the case of cardiac arrhythmia, the normal heart rate gets out of balance due to various reasons. In some cases, it is necessary to implant a cardiac pacemaker. Just like with any intervention, this type of surgery also involves risks. In the worst-case scenario, this can lead to abnormal wound healing or obliteration of the vascular system.
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Wanted: rapid test to prevent deep vein thrombosis

01/07/2015

Deep vein thrombosis is not just a risk factor for frequent flyers but also for wearers of cardiovascular implants and newly operated patients. Blood thinners prevent these dangerous blood clots from forming, but they need to be carefully adjusted and do not work the same way in every patient. A detailed analysis of platelets (thrombocytes) could prevent complications in the future.
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Photo: Stents

Stents: Braiding versus cutting

22/05/2015

Braided stents are nothing new in medicine, but their manufacturing process is still time-consuming. This is why Professor Stefan Jockenhövel from the RWTH Aachen University and his team want to make machine production possible.
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Photo: Ensminger and Gummert holding a 3D heart replica

Aortic valve replacement: Precise preoperative surgical preparation thanks to a silicone heart

23/02/2015

An 80-year-old female patient needs a new aortic valve replacement. Since the old one is severally calcified, the leaflets no longer open properly. Due to various factors, the patient is considered inoperable. Nevertheless, to make surgery possible for her, specialists at the Heart and Diabetes Center NRW in Germany have prepared the intervention based on an exact 3D heart replica.
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Photo: a hand holds a sign for magnesium

Absorbable magnesium scaffold: "The patches need to follow the movement of the cardiac muscle"

08/08/2014

A magnesium implant will soon be available to help patients, who exhibit damage in the high-pressure area of the heart. The implant protects a tissue matrix where new cells that replace the affected tissue are meant to grow. The implant itself is supposed to completely dissolve after several months. MEDICA.de spoke with D. Eng. Thomas Hassel about this exciting project.
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Football: "We want to globally determine deaths for the first time"

02/06/2014

Sudden deaths of football players make headlines time after time: competitive athletes who are the idols of many people die just when they are on the playing field and in the limelight. Congenital heart defects often cause their death. Sports physicians and FIFA now plan to ascertain data that can help improve preventive examinations in competitive football.
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Vascular health in athletes

02/06/2014

"Sports are good for your health", as the saying goes. Regular exercise promotes the health of our blood vessels and prevents vascular diseases. However, many years of competitive sports can also have negative effects on vascular health and increase the risk of myocardial infarction. Prof. Martin Halle of the Technical University Munich explains at MEDICA.de what athletes need to pay attention to.
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"The Virus Manipulates the Host Cell on Different Levels"

08/01/2014

Heart diseases can be triggered by special viruses that affect the cardiac muscle. Preventive drugs could definitely be developed – if the virus does not mutate.
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