Archive for 'Cleveland Clinic'

Best Hospitals: Heart And Heart Surgery


 US News and World Report lists the best hospitals for heart disease treatment and surgery. Topping the list is the Cleveland Clinic, which also has a heart disease forum where you can ask the experts.

A study done by the Cleveland Clinic repots that beta blockers can slow or even reverse arterial plaque. The story can be found here.

From Medical News Today:

Researchers aimed to identify whether beta-blockers have any effect on progression of coronary disease in a group of more than 1,500 patients with this disease. They began by measuring the amount of fatty plaque found in the arteries of these patients, using high-resolution intravascular ultrasound. This required the insertion of tiny ultrasonic transducers in the coronary arteries to provide a baseline examination.

Subsequently, the ultrasound examination was repeated after 18 to 24 months and the progression rate of coronary disease was compared in patients who were treated with beta-blockers and those who were not treated with these agents. The researchers found that patients treated with beta-blockers had a significant reduction in the amount of fatty plaque at the follow-up examination, whereas those not on a beta-blocker experienced no change in the amount of plaque.

“Our results have important implications,” said Ilke Sipahi, M.D., F.A.C.C., a Cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic and the study’s lead author. “Up to now, we thought that beta-blockers were beneficial only to preserve heart muscle function in patients with a previous injury to their heart due to a heart attack. Now we learn that these drugs also have favorable effects on the coronary arteries by reducing clogging of these vessels in a similar fashion to cholesterol-lowering statin drugs. Our results indicate that all patients with coronary disease, such as those with coronary stents, previous bypass surgery and even patients with earlier stages of coronary artery disease can benefit from treatment with beta-blockers.”

I did not have a positive experience with beta blockers, but I believe my dose was higher than needed. My BP was 90/60 with a heart rate of 45 bpm. This caused high anxiety and the start of a clinical depressive episode which resolved itself when I stopped the medication. I may try to go back on a lower dose after reading this study.