Tag Archives: cardiovascular research

Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) Expands Options for Inoperable Severe Aortic Stenosis Patients

Surgical aortic valve replacement is extremely low-risk for most patients. However, a significant number of patients are at high-risk for surgical valve replacement or are ineligible for surgery because of comorbidities. The less invasive TAVR procedure allows a new valve to be inserted within the native, diseased aortic valve, and can be performed utilizing multiple approaches (e.g., transfemoral, transapical, or transaortic).¹

Penn State Hershey Heart and Vascular Institute is unusual in its balanced case mix, according to chief of cardiac surgery, Walter E. Pae, Jr., M.D., “Our practice is fairly evenly divided among congenital pediatric heart defects, adult coronary disorders, and adult cardiac valve abnormalities. We perform up to 100 aortic valve replacements per year.” Interventional cardiologist Mark Kozak, M.D., concurs, noting that coronary disease is the focus of many institutions, due to its far greater frequency. Continue reading

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Novel Research Investigates Dose Dependency and Causal Relationship Between Diet and Cardiac Function

Cocoa StudyIt has become an accepted belief that “dark chocolate is good for the heart.” While myriad data support the link between cocoa ingestion and improved heart health, what is less clear is the amount of cocoa and the reason. Research being conducted at Penn State Hershey Heart and Vascular Institute seeks to clarify these important points.

Kevin D. Monahan, Ph.D., associate professor at Penn State College of Medicine, examined dose-dependent increases in brachial artery flow-mediated dilation (FMD) acutely with responses measured over two hours after older adults in good health ingested cocoa. The study hypothesized that the favorable effects of flavonoids, such as those found in cocoa, on the endothelium may result in positive cardiovascular effects. A dose-dependent relationship was seen between cocoa ingestion and an increase in endothelium-dependent vasodilation measured by FMD.1 Positive cardiovascular effects were observed with ingestion of between five and twenty-six grams of cocoa.1

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