The FDA recently approved the first study of neurostimulation as a treatment for heart failure, a chronic disease that affects nearly six million Americans and is the leading cause of hospitalization in America. "Despite our best efforts to treat heart failure with current drugs, patients with advanced heart failure continue to deteriorate, " said Dr. Guillermo Torre-Amione, heart failure specialist at the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center and principal investigator for the study. "There is an urgent need to improve treatment for these patients." Heart failure is a condition in which the heart muscle can't pump effectively enough to meet the body's need for blood and oxygen.
1. Among Noninvasive Imaging Tests, CT More Accurate Than MRI for Ruling Out Coronary Artery Disease Coronary artery disease (CAD) is a major cause of death in the United States. Typically, CAD is diagnosed through conventional coronary angiography. However, this technique is invasive and potentially risky. While several less invasive tests can be used to view the coronary arteries, computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are preferred because of their superior image quality. An obvious indication for these noninvasive tests would be to reliably rule out CAD in patients with a low-to-moderate likelihood of the disease, thus avoiding an unnecessary invasive test.
BG Medicine, Inc., a privately-held developer of biomarker-based in vitro diagnostics, announced the commercial launch in the European Union of a new, CE-marked test for the measurement of galectin-3 in human plasma or serum. Galectin-3 was first shown by researchers at the University of Maastricht, The Netherlands, to play an integral role in the development and progression of heart failure. "This is an important point in our development of galectin-3 testing and a milestone for the company, " noted Pieter Muntendam, MD, President and CEO of BG Medicine. "Heart failure is a complex and heterogeneous condition, and the objective of our BGM Galectin-3™
Piedmont Hospital Installs First Toshiba Vascular X-Ray System With 12 X 12 Mid-Sized Flat Panel Detector
Increasing its ability to provide patients with the highest quality of care, Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta has installed the country's first InfinixTM VF-i vascular X-ray system with the 12" x 12" mid-sized flat panel detector (FPD) from Toshiba America Medical Systems, Inc. The new mid-sized FPD system is equipped with Toshiba's Next Generation Advanced Image Processing (AIP) capabilities and marks the fourth Toshiba Infinix-i system installed by Piedmont Hospital. "Toshiba's Infinix VF-i with the 12" x 12" flat panel detector provides better perspective during electrophysiologic procedures than most traditional flat panel detectors, " said Piedmont Heart Institute physician Harry A.
For Judy Hinderliter, taking care of friends means refusing to talk to them on the phone. Instead, when friends want to chat, Hinderliter, a dietitian and personal trainer at the UNC Wellness Center at Meadowmont, encourages them to join her for a brisk, heart-healthy walk. That's just one of the creative strategies for maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system that Hinderliter and her husband, Alan, a cardiologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, share with their patients. Despite advances in medical care, heart disease has remained the leading killer of Americans for the past 80 years. Each year, about 650, 000 Americans die from heart disease, a term that refers to problems such as heart arrhythmias, heart failure and coronary artery disease, which can lead to heart attacks.
States are grappling with budget crises and lost revenues that have affected health programs. The Associated Press/(San Jose, Calif.) Mercury News: "Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger demanded more federal money in a letter to California's congressional delegation Wednesday, as he highlighted a half-dozen programs that cost the state billions. He criticized some of the state's federal representatives for saying California has created its own budget mess." His plan to close the state's $20 billion deficit, announced last week, depends on extracting $6.9 billion in help from the federal government (Thompson, 1/13). Wisconsin Radio Network: "With $5.