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Image: Colourful book cover; Copyright: Mary Ann Liebert

Study shows functional effects of human stem cell delivery to heart muscle after heart attack


Researchers delivered human stem cells seeded in biological sutures to the damaged heart muscles of rats following induced acute myocardial infarction and assessed the effects on cardiac function one week later.
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Image: Woman holds her chest; Copyright:

Myocardial infarction: Differences of men and women are not attributed to X chromosome


Myocardial infarction differs in men and women. Women fall ill later, but they die from it more often. Overall, men are affected more often. These and further differences are not attributed to the X chromosome.
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Image: Graphic showing a model of the human heart and ECG curves; Copyright: Tobias Brügmann (University Bonn)/Patrick M. Boyle (John Hopkins University)

Termination of lethal arrhythmia with light


A research team from the University of Bonn has succeeded for the first time in using light stimuli to stop life-threatening cardiac arrhythmia in mouse hearts. Furthermore, as shown in computer simulations at Johns Hopkins University, this technique could also be used successfully for human hearts.
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Image: Smartphone displaying a biker's heartrate fixed to the handlebar; Copyright: Popov

Mobile device detects irregular heartbeats


VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has developed a mobile app and thumb-size device that help to prevent cerebral infarctions at an early stage, during asymptomatic atrial fibrillation. The mobile device, which detects arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) has been tested with excellent results for around two years in real-life conditions in cooperation with Turku University Central Hospital.
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Image: Picture of a heart; Copyright:

Heart valve replacement for people with rheumatic heart disease


A novel heart valve replacement method is revealed today that offers hope for the thousands of patients with rheumatic heart disease who need the procedure each year. The research was being presented at the SA Heart Congress 2016.
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Image: Drawing of a rat and green tea and in the middle a heart. The green background is full of green leafs; Copyright: Kyoto University

Drinking green tea to prevent artery explosion


According to new research, green tea could prevent a deadly condition in the body's main artery. A Kyoto University team has found that abdominal aortic aneurysm - a condition in which the main artery becomes overstretched and bloated - developed less frequently in rats that drank green tea polyphenol, a major component of green tea.
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Image: Pictured is a fluorescently labeled endothelial cell monolayer, pseudocolorized in blue/green; Copyright: University of Pittsburgh

Gene therapy via ultrasound could offer new therapeutic tool


Combining ultrasound energy and microbubbles to poke holes in cells may prove to be a new tool in the fight against cardiovascular disease and cancer, according to researchers from the University of Pittsburgh and UPMC. A study on this gene therapy approach, called sonoporation, is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
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Image: A black person's blood pressure is measured; Copyright: Popov

To beat hypertension, take the 'clinic' to the people


Eliminating racial disparities in the outcomes of programs to control blood pressure can be accomplished with a few one-on-one coaching sessions delivered by health professionals - but not if the program requires people to get to a clinic, according to results of a new Johns Hopkins Medicine study.
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Image: Woman holds her chest; Copyright: marcinski

Leaky calcium triggers brainstem blackout that results in sudden cardiac death


Epilepsy is an extremely common disorder affecting people of all ages, from infants through teenagers to older adults. One of the most mysterious things about this disorder is that about 6 percent of the people with epilepsy have an unusually high incidence of sudden unexpected death.
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Photo: Men and women running

Individualized sports medicine: training by design


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


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"


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


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


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


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


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."


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


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


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"


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


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


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


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


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"


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. 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"


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


"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 what athletes need to pay attention to.
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"The Virus Manipulates the Host Cell on Different Levels"


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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