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Surgeons Warren Malley and Dilip S. Kittur
Advances in surgical techniques enable transplant surgeons Warren Malley and Dilip S. Kittur to give a new pancreas to patients battling severe, insulin-dependent diabetes.


Medical Updates Index

A Godsend for People with Severe Diabetes
The pancreas is a finicky organ to replace, asserts transplant surgeon Dilip S. Kittur, M.D., Sc.D. First of all, it inflames easily when transplanted, and second the enzymes in its secretions can cause pancreatitis or erosion of the tissues where the gland drains. Specialists like Kittur and his colleague Warren Maley, M.D., however, have learned how to get around such roadblocks....

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Breath in a Bag Could Improve Transplantation
Liver or heart transplants are fraught with danger long before the body can even think of mounting an immune rejection. The danger stems from a cascade of reactions that begin when donor organs and their oxygen supply first part company. Both the initial lack of oxygen—the ischemia–and the reperfusion as blood flows back into the organs unleash tissue-damaging free radicals....

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Finding Blockages after a Heart Attack
The heart attack’s finished. The patient’s received tPA or streptokinase to unblock branches of cardiac arteries. Those vessels are now cleared and, after a careful recovery period, the patient should be fine, right? Not always. A recent series of MRI studies of patients, conducted by a team of cardiologists including Katherine C. Wu, M.D., and Joao A.C. Lima, M.D., show....

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A Glimmer of Hope for a Brutal Condition
Acute respiratory distress syndrome—called ARDS—isn’t easy to define. The brutal malady is actually caused by several different conditions, including pneumonia and other infections like peritonitis, and also by severe trauma. It is marked by...

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Parathyroid Surgery Made Easier
At 23, Steven Oritt was on a roll. A recent film-school graduate, he was pegged to do his first short film in L.A., but all the excitement had left him a bit fatigued. Then a routine medical checkup caught an excessively high blood calcium level, and ultrasound scans and other tests revealed a growth on one of Oritt’s parathyroid glands. Suddenly the young man’s professional plans were thrown askew...

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Less Misery in Thyroid Cancer Monitoring
The good news about thyroid cancer is that treatment is relatively easy: Surgeons remove the thyroid gland and then administer a dose of radioactive iodine designed to destroy lingering cells. The bad news is that sometimes not all the cells are caught and the yearly monitoring that must follow causes patient anxiety and physical illness; the monitoring also carries a slight risk of accelerating tumor growth. Now a Hopkins study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism suggests a less upsetting way to safely and effectively detect left-over thyroid cells...

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Binding the Bones of Osteoperosis
Seventy-eight-year-old Bernice Childs of Tampa, Fla., was back at Johns Hopkins recently to have another of her vertebrae restored through a process called percutaneous vertebroplasty. This one she fractured when she had the flu and couldn’t stop sneezing. Childs, who has osteoporosis, is amazed by the unusual procedure in which the bone cement methyl methacrylate is injected into the spine to shore up tiny breaks. During her first visit to Hopkins, she’d arrived in agony in a wheelchair for a repair of three splintered thoracic vertebrae and left a couple of days later....

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The Clue in the Old Bones
Pack rats who spend their lives taking abuse for never throwing anything away can take solace in knowing that just such habits made possible a recent medical advance here. A nearly forgotten cache of more than 1,000 temporal bones amassed over a period of some 30 years presented otolaryngologists with the data they needed to understand the basis for a strange condition in which people are stricken with dizziness after hearing loud noises....

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