Monthly Archives: February 2008

Hammers and nails

I’m sure you’ve heard the old saying that, To a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail. It couldn’t be truer than in heart procedures (the man with the hammer) and heart disease (the nail). What does it … Continue reading

Posted in Angioplasty | 4 Comments

What is abnormal?

What is abnormal? You’d think that the answer would be easy and straightforward. However, consider these instances of medical findings that I have witnessed fall repeatedly into the “normal” category: Diameter of the thoracic aorta: 4.5 cm Mild coronary plaque … Continue reading

Posted in Heart scans | 1 Comment

Niacin and hydration

Many people know about niacin’s curious effect of the “hot flush,” a feeling of warmth that covers the chest and neck, occasionally the entire body. However, many people are unaware of the fact that hydration can block this effect. In … Continue reading

Posted in Niacin | 12 Comments

Actos, Avandia, and vitamin D

Up until a few years ago, if a patient showed signs of the metabolic syndrome/pre-diabetes, or early diabetes, I would often prescribe one of the drugs, Actos (pioglitazone) or Avandia (rosiglitazone), known as the thiazolidinediones, or TZD’s for short. Although … Continue reading

Posted in vitamin D | 16 Comments

What if heart scans become obsolete?

What will we do if or when CT heart scans become outdated and something better comes along? Heart scans are, after all, our principal tool for detection and precise quantification of coronary atherosclerotic plaque. They provide the basis for the … Continue reading

Posted in Heart scans | 3 Comments

Scare tactics

Does the media engage in scare tactics? Read the headlines in local newspapers, and you’d believe that your friends and neighbors are dropping like flies, all victims of heart attacks. I occasionally peruse the headlines run in newspapers and magazines … Continue reading

Posted in Heart attack | 13 Comments

Which statin is best?

The statin drugs can indeed play a role in a program of coronary plaque control and regression. However, thanks to the overwhelming marketing (and lobbying and legislative) clout of the drug manufacturing industry, they play an undeserved, oversized role. I … Continue reading

Posted in Statin drugs | 6 Comments

Lipoprotein(a)–neglected and unappreciated

Lipoprotein(a), or just Lp(a) to its close friends and neighbors, is among the most underappreciated and neglected of causes of coronary plaque. It’s the Rodney Dangerfield of lipoproteins. Lp(a) rarely gets diagnosed before people come to my office. They’ve often … Continue reading

Posted in Lipoprotein(a) | 2 Comments

Wheat-free and still fat

Readers of The Heart Scan Blog know that I preach a diet that contains foods with low glycemic index to control weight, raise HDL, and reduce triglycerides, blood sugar, and small LDL. A crucial aspect of a low glycemic index … Continue reading

Posted in Wheat | 14 Comments

Heart disease is reversible

In a previous post, Take this survey: I double-dare you, I posed a challenge: Ask your doctor: Is heart disease reversible? Their answer: 1) No. Heart disease is definitely not reversible. 2) Yes, in rare instances, like lightning striking twice. … Continue reading

Posted in Heart disease reversal | 10 Comments