Cedars-Sinai February medical tipsheet

MINIMALLY INVASIVE PROCEDURE FIXES HEART DEFECT THAT ALLOWS BLOOD CLOTS TO REACH THE BRAIN

When a previously healthy 29-year-old man came to Cedars-Sinai's emergency department in a state of mental confusion, physicians found a defect in his heart. The hole, called a patent foramen ovale (PFO), apparently allowed a blood clot (embolism) to pass through to his brain, causing stroke-like symptoms. Using a minimally invasive non-surgical technique and a small device that springs open like a double umbrella, an interventional cardiologist repaired the hole without open-heart surgery. To the patient's amazement, one day he had a hole in his heart repaired and the next he was out to dinner with his parents.

ARTIFICIAL DISC AVAILABLE TO MORE PATIENTS AS SPINE INTITUTE TAKES STUDY TO NEXT PHASE

Although spinal fusion offers relief from pain caused by damaged discs, it reduces movement and may lead to long-term problems in adjacent discs. An artificial disc that may be a viable alternative – especially for younger, active patients – is entering Phase II trials in the United States. It is available at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center's Institute for Spinal Disorders, the largest multidisciplinary spine center in the western United States.

LOW ESTROGEN LINKED TO INCREASED RISK OF CORONARY ARTERY DISEASE IN PRE-MENOPAUSAL WOMEN

A new study has found that pre-menopausal women with low blood estrogen levels have a significantly greater prevalence of coronary artery disease. This "hypoestrogenemia" stems from a dysfunction of the hypothalamus, the gland that regulates estrogen production in the ovaries. Researchers hope their studies will lead to new treatments that will protect these young women from increased risk of heart disease. The study appears in the February 5 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

S. MARK TAPER FOUNDATION IMAGING CENTER AT CEDARS-SINAI MEDICAL CENTER OFFERS THE LOS ANGELES REGION'S ONLY FULLY-DIGITIZED INTEGRATED RADIOLOGY CENTER

The S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center offers the region's only fully-digitized integrated radiology center. All images of the body are captured electronically so that no "films" are necessary. These digitized renderings allow multiple images to be displayed in several dimensions, giving radiologists finer tools to visualize the body and to better diagnose and treat disease. In addition, the center provides the latest imaging technology, which includes the latest generation CT and electron beam CT scanners, and is performed by some of the nation's most specialized and talented radiologists.

RENOWNED NEUROSURGEON, CARL LAURYSSEN, M.D., JOINS CEDARS-SINAI INSTITUTE FOR SPINAL DISORDERS

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center announces the appointment of Carl Lauryssen, M.D., a renowned neurosurgeon, to Medical Director of Research and Education at the Cedars-Sinai Institute for Spinal Disorders. As a leading neurosurgeon, Dr. Lauryssen's primary focus involves the use of innovative surgical procedures to stabilize complex spinal conditions resulting from degeneration, injury and/or cancerous tumors. Among these innovations, Dr. Lauryssen is an expert in the use of minimal access surgery, allowing for smaller incisions, and quicker recovery time for patients.

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