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As the birthplace of cardiac surgery, Hopkins continues to build on this legacy of discovery and innovation. From using stem cells to repair damaged hearts, to “remodeling” the hearts of congestive heart failure patients, to robotic surgery, to new diagnostic techniques, Hopkins’s cardiologists and cardiac surgeons continue to be in the vanguard of research, development and clinical application for heart problems of both children and adults. Below are just some highlights of current research on heart problems underway at Hopkins. Click on each to learn more.

Like Something the Lord Made: The National Magazine Award-winning article on which the HBO film was based.
By Katie McCabe
souar :© 1989. The Washingtonian. Reprinted by permission of the author.

Consultation with Eduardo Marban, M.D.
The new chief of the division of cardiology talks about the changing art of treating the damaged heart and offers some predictions for the future.

The Heart of the Matter
When his 2-year-old son went into cardiac failure, the author and his wife found themselves plunged headlong into the brave new world of pediatric heart transplantation

Biosketch of Dr. Benjamin Carson

Devices & Desires
A diagnosis of heart failure once signaled imminent death. Today, specialists are abuzz with pacers, pumps and other implantable mechanisms that have changed the picture for patients with this lethal condition. 

New Theory Changes View of Arrhythmia
The causes of fatal irregularities in the heartbeat may not be problems with the electrical connections between heart cells, as long believed, but problems in a basic energy-producing process inside the cells, according to a study by researchers at Johns Hopkins.

For Heart Failure, Remodeling Could Be the Answer
Hopkins surgeon John Conte uses a plastic mold to restore the natural shape of the heart.

 Is It a Heart Problem? It May Soon be Easier to Find Out
David Bush and Edward Shapiro are testing a new way to evaluate chest pain.

Pacing Gives Heart Failure Patients a New Lease on Life
Originally used to fix electrical abnormalities in people with slow heart rhythms, Hopkins cardiologists  are finding that the pacemaker can successfully resynchronize weak and struggling hearts in heart failure patients whose only treatment options typically have been drugs or surgery.

Sudden Cardiac Death: Unraveling the Mystery
In May, the School of Medicine was awarded a four-year $24 million gift from the Las Vegas-based Donald W. Reynolds Foundation to establish the multidisciplinary center focused on understanding the biology of and reducing the rate of sudden cardiac death.

The Stroke-inducing Hole in the Heart
Everything about repairing a patent foramen ovale (PFO) can be tricky, even finding it.

Finding Blockages after a Heart Attack
A recent series of MRI studies of patients show smaller vessels—arterioles and capillaries—can remain blocked long after the crisis of an MI has passed. The good news is that such patients are now far easier to spot, with a simpler technique than MRI. Using a contrast medium cardiologists use ultrasound to locate the blocked vessels.

Finding the Heart Condition
Using high-speed MRI to freeze the motion of the heart, Hopkins cardiologists are able to obtain clear images of deadly fatty and scarred tissue in the right ventricle.

First Biologic Pacemaker Created By Gene Therapy In Guinea Pigs  
Working with guinea pigs, Johns Hopkins scientists have created what is believed to be the first biologic pacemaker for the heart, paving the way for a genetically engineered alternative to implanted electronic pacemakers. The advance uses gene therapy to convert a small fraction of guinea pigs' heart muscle cells into specialized "pacing" cells.

Formal Screening May Better Identify Depressed Heart Attack Survivors
A formal screening program for depression among heart attack survivors might help health care providers better identify and treat the condition in this population, improving survival rates, a Johns Hopkins study suggests.

Aspirin May Not Be Strong Enough To Prevent Clots in Some Heart Patients
While an aspirin a day helps keep a heart attack at bay, it may need reinforcement to totally prevent blood clots among patients with chest pain, a Johns Hopkins study shows.

Surgery Reconstructs Hearts in Failure
A Johns Hopkins cardiac surgeon is one of only a handful in the country performing an uncommon procedure to reshape enlarged, damaged hearts in heart failure patients, restoring efficiency and potentially preventing the need for a transplant.

WOMEN WITH MILD HYPERTENSION HAVE WORSE HEART FUNCTION OVER TIME

Women with even mild hypertension may be at risk for more severe heart problems down the road, according to a Johns Hopkins study.

SKIN CHOLESTEROL INDICATES PRESENCE OF PLAQUE BUILD-UP IN THE HEART
The amount of cholesterol found in skin cells may be a good indicator of the presence of plaque build-up in the heart, a Johns Hopkins study shows.

EXERCISE PRESCRIPTIONS MAY SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCE CORONARY HEART DISEASE
Doctors should dole out prescriptions for frequent, moderate-level physical activity to women at risk for developing atherosclerosis, thickening of the artery walls. A study by Johns Hopkins researchers shows that women who are at risk for this disease are far less likely to develop it if they walk briskly for 30 minutes or more, two to three times a week.

Region of Chromosome 1 Important in Blood Pressure Regulation
Scientists are closing in on genetic contributors to high blood pressure and other causes of heart and cardiovascular disease. There is evidence that a region of chromosome 1 is involved in appropriately regulating blood pressure.

Hopkins Researchers Discover How Nitric Oxide Prevents Blood Vessel Inflammation
Johns Hopkins scientists investigating nitric oxide (NO) - the molecular messenger that contributes to body functions as wide-ranging as cell death, new blood vessel growth and erections - have figured out how it can block blood vessel inflammation and prevent clotting, a process that has long stumped biologists.

Exercise Measures Identify Heart Disease in Seemingly Healthy Women
A woman's fitness level and the time it takes for her heart to return to normal after exercise are more accurate predictors of female heart disease risk than electrical recordings of the heart, according to a national study led by Johns Hopkins researchers.

 

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