Are Patients Losing Sleep? -- MEDICA Trade Fair

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Study on transplanted hearts reveals risk genes for cardiovascular diseases

15/09/2017

With participation of the Helmholtz Zentrum München, an international research team has discovered a number of new risk factors for dilated cardiomyopathy and other heart conditions. In the largest transcriptome study to date, the researchers analysed the RNA of transplanted hearts. The study was recently published in "Genome Biology".
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Image: cross-section of a blood vessel; copyright: panthermedia.net/Dr. Lange

Correlation between height and risk of thrombosis

14/09/2017

In a new study from Lund University in Sweden, researchers investigated the risk factors for blood clots, i.e. venous thromboembolism (VTE). The results show a strong correlation between height and VTE risk for both women and men. The risk increases with height.
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Study identifies multiple roles of glucose metabolism in platelet activation and survival

14/09/2017

Research may inform how increased glucose metabolism may contribute to the increased risk of thrombosis in diabetes and how altering platelet glucose metabolism influences platelet function
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Image: blue translucent torso with visible arm muscles; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Eraxion

New understanding of how muscles work

07/09/2017

Muscle malfunctions may be as simple as a slight strain after exercise or as serious as heart failure and muscular dystrophy. A new technique developed at McGill now makes it possible to look much more closely at how sarcomeres, the basic building blocks within all skeletal and cardiac muscles, work together. It's a discovery that should advance research into a wide range of muscle malfunctions.
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Image: Screen showing an image from cardiovascular angiography; Copyright: panthermedia.net/fly_wish

Coronary heart disease: non-invasive imaging reduces catheter examinations

01/09/2017

Coronary heart disease (CHD) can cause heart arrhythmia, heart insufficiency or heart attack. All the more important is an early, reliable diagnosis that helps to treat it and to reduce risk factors. But what is the best method for diagnosis? A recent study found that functional imaging methods can often spare patients the trouble and risks of a coronary angiography.
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Image: Collage of several MRI images of the heart, in which different locations are marked with red arrows; Copyright: University Hospital Münster/Ali Yilmaz

Myocarditis: more specific diagnosis thanks to molecular imaging

01/09/2017

There are many causes of myocarditis or inflammation of the heart muscle. Oftentimes, the culprits are viruses or bacteria and sometimes even an acute heart attack. Regardless of the cause, it creates a challenge for cardiologists: a diagnosis tends to be only nonspecific without a biopsy. A cardiac MRI and molecular imaging promise to provide assistance.
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Image: Examples of ex vivo photography (left) and autoradiography (right) of aortae and carotid arteries ; Copyright: Yale Cardiovascular Research Center

New imaging tracer allows early assessment of abdominal aortic aneurysm risk

11/08/2017

Yale University researchers have developed a way in which medical imaging could potentially be used to assess a patient's rupture risk for abdominal aortic aneurysm. Delaying surgical treatment can be life-threatening, and this new type of imaging could allow physicians to diagnose disease and better plan its management.
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Image: heart 3D scan; Copyright: Manchester University

Scientists reveal source of human heartbeat in 3D

09/08/2017

A team of scientists from Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU), The University of Manchester, Aarhus University and Newcastle University, have developed a way of producing 3D data to show the cardiac conduction system – the special cells that enable our hearts to beat – in unprecedented detail. The findings were published in Scientific Reports.
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Image: Print-out of an ECG curve, a stethoscope and some pills; Copyright: panthermedia.net/ocskaymark

Anticoagulant drugs are being prescribed against safety advice

28/07/2017

A study by researchers at the University of Birmingham has shown that GPs are prescribing anticoagulants to patients with an irregular heartbeat against official safety advice.
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Photo: 3-D printed heart valve; Copyright: Rob Felt

3-D printed models could improve patient outcomes in heart valve replacements

05/07/2017

Heart valve models created with advanced 3-D printers could soon assist cardiologists in preparing to perform life-saving heart valve replacements. Researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology and Piedmont Heart Institute are using standard medical imaging and new 3-D printing technologies to create patient-specific heart valve models that mimic the physiological qualities of the real valves.
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Image: A red herat and an ECG painted on a blackboard with chalk; Copyright: panthermedia.net/roobcio

Race and gender are important in predicting heart attack in the emergency department

27/06/2017

Researchers at the George Washington University (GW) found that certain symptoms are more and less predictive of patients' risk for acute coronary syndrome (ACS), which includes heart attack, in patients of different gender and race.
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Collect Data? Utilize Data! – The Blessings of Big Data

01/03/2017

Genome data, MRI images, and blood test results – data collected in the medical sector is not only very heterogeneous but also extremely extensive. However, it is important to not only collect this data but to also utilize it. After all, processed, linked and analyzed data provides many opportunities in research, hospital management and ultimately also for the individual patient.
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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"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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