Monday, October 8, 2007


What if you could go to your doctor's office have a short noninvasive study that would tell you if you had a heart disease? No. It's not the scanner from the starship enterprise, it's a new pocket-sized ultrasound available to doctors and technicians at a reasonable price.

In the past, ultrasound machines cost up to $100,000 and came on a heavy, bulky cart. The use of these devices was limited to hospitals and the specialist's office. This has all changed now, with the avaliablibility of pocket sized scanners such as the Acuson P10 just-released buy Siemens with a list price of only $10,000. They are designed to be readily used in the intensive care unit, he emergency room and your family doctor's office. They provide a quick glimpse inside the body to assist with a diagnosis.

The main artery carrying blood to our brain is called the carotid artery, thickening of the wall of this artery not only increases the risk of stroke, but has been proven to reflect disease in the coronary arteries.

Since the majority of heart attacks occur without previous warning, many specialists myself included, think this is a wonderful way to warn us of impending danger.

However, others to seem to have a vested interest in disease have advised against it's widespread use.

It baffles me to see that the American Heart Association has recommended against widespread screening with these devices.

Indeed I do see some downside, some people will unnecessarily be started on statins, which have been proven to reduce the risk of heart disease in a limited number of people, some people will undergo cardiac catheterization and have ill-advised stenting.

Dr. James Stein, a cardiologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is leading a panel to write guidelines as to who should have the scans and how to use the information.
A great controversy will arise, because almost no one in cardiology or medicine in general, believes that heart disease is preventable or reversible.

The relatively new knowledge that arteriosclerosis is an inflammatory disease, gives us ways to both prevent and reverse heart disease. These are documented in the new book" The Cure for Heart Disease". Dr. William Davis, with his book and web site track your plaque is another voice calling for a change in the way we look at heart disease.

Will you get the scan?
Will you make the changes in your life that will prevent you from getting heart disease?
Will you make the changes in your life that will reverse the disease you have?
Was you take control of your health, or will you continue to listen to the bad advice of petrified institutions?