Recent Posts

Heart & Vascular
Renal Denervation: A Future Treatment for Hypertension?
Apr 5, 2016 By Emory Healthcare

blood-pressure-squareDo you suffer from hypertension? If you are:

  • Between the ages of 20 and 80
  • Have consistently high blood pressure
  • Are willing to participate in a clinical trial
You may be eligible to participate in one of Emory’s research studies. Emory is currently enrolling patients in a clinical trial related to hypertension. Patients, either on or off blood pressure medications, will be enrolled in a randomized study in which participants may undergo an investigational procedure called renal denervation. This procedure is being investigated to determine its potential impact on blood pressure.

What is renal denervation?

Renal denervation is an investigative procedure that is intended to decrease activity of the nervous system in the kidneys. Renal nerves transmit information between the kidneys and the brain via the sympathetic nervous system. These nerves often signal an increase [...]

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Heart & Vascular
Takeaways from Dr. Gongora’s Live Chat on Women & Heart Disease
Mar 22, 2016 By Emory Women's Heart Center

women-hrt-disease260x200Thank you to everyone who joined us on February 23rd, for our live chat on “Women & Heart Disease” hosted by Carolina Gongora, M.D., cardiologist with the Emory Women’s Heart Center. We had a lot of great questions! Heart Disease is the number one killer of women, so it was wonderful to have so many women engaged and interested in their heart health. The physicians at Emory Women’s Heart Center are dedicated to diagnosis, screening, treatment and prevention of heart disease in women. We hope that you found the discussion informative. If you missed the chat or are interested in reviewing all of Dr. Gongora’s answers, you can view the chat transcript.

Below are a few highlights:

Question: What is the effect of depression on my cardiovascular health? Dr. Gongora: Although men and women share similar risk factors for heart disease, there are some that are more [...]

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Heart & Vascular
Emory Saved My Life: One Patient’s Journey
Feb 23, 2016 By Kristin Leone

kristen-leone250x250I was born with Congenital Heart Disease. The first four years of my life were spent in and out of hospitals, and the first two took an incredible toll on my family, particularly my mother. In 1976, at just two years of age, I became the first baby ever to survive open heart surgery. Little did I know that nearly 38 years later I would be fighting for my survival again; this is the story of how Emory saved my life. It all started back in February, 2013. I woke up one morning coughing and feeling incredibly fatigued, and my symptoms continued to progress over the course of the next few months. By May, things had gotten much worse, to the point that getting up the stairs became a battle. I was having a normal lunch with my mother on July 6th of that year, and as we went to leave my heart suddenly began to race faster than I’ve ever felt before. I immediately knew something was [...]

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Heart & Vascular
Emory Women’s Heart Center Wear Red Events
Feb 2, 2016 By Emory Women's Heart Center

womensheartwearredHeart disease is the number one killer of women in the United States, but in many cases it’s preventable. That’s why Emory Healthcare would like to invite you to join us at one of our women’s heart health events in celebration and recognition of Heart Month in February, as well as Mother’s Day in May. During these fun, educational events, participants will have an opportunity to meet Emory Women’s Heart Center physicians and staff and learn about how to prevent, detect and treat heart disease. You will also have the opportunity to purchase products and services from our vendors who will be on hand providing consultations, displaying jewelry, sharing healthy foods, etc. To learn more, please call Emory HealthConnection℠ at 404-778-7777. The events are free! Parking will be available in hospitals’ main parking lots.

Emory Women's Heart Center Wear Red Event


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Heart & Vascular
Women & Heart Disease Live Chat- February 23, 2016
Feb 2, 2016 By Emory Heart & Vascular Center

women-hrt-disease260x200Heart disease kills 6 times more women than breast cancer each year, making it the number one killer of women. Many people consider heart disease to be a predominantly male-oriented condition. However, heart disease is the number one killer in women and affects one out of every three in the United States, according to the American Heart Association. Heart disease occurs when fatty build-up in your coronary arteries, called plaque, prevents blood flow that’s needed to provide oxygen to your heart. When the blood flow that brings oxygen to the heart muscle is severely reduced, or completely cut off, a heart attack occurs. The Emory Women’s Heart Center is dedicated to screening, diagnosing, treating and preventing heart disease in Atlanta’s women. We’re thankful the awareness about heart disease, and the unique challenges faced by women, continues to be on the rise. The [...]

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Heart & Vascular
Sudden Cardiac Death in Young Athletes
Jan 12, 2016 By Jonathan Kim, MD

football250x250Sudden death in young people, often due to hidden heart defects or overlooked heart abnormalities, is rare. Of the 360,000 sudden cardiac arrests that occur in the United States each year outside of hospitals, very few occur in young people and only some of those young people die of sudden cardiac arrest. When these tragic sudden cardiac deaths do occur, it's often during physical activity, such as participating in an athletic event or strenuous exercise.


The causes of sudden cardiac death in young people vary, but most of the time deaths are due to heart abnormalities, such as unrecognized inherited heart disease (example, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy) and coronary artery abnormalities. Other causes include inherited heart rhythm disorders such as Long QT syndrome, Brugada syndrome, or other inherited cardiac “channelopathies”. Additional etiologies include [...]

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Heart & Vascular
Legacy of Innovation Continues at Emory with Successful Arrhythmia Clinical Trial
Nov 17, 2015 By Emory Heart & Vascular Center

The device is weighs less than a small coin and is only a little longer than a U.S. nickel. Image credit: Medtronic

The device is weighs less than a small coin and is only a little longer than a U.S. nickel. Image credit: Medtronic

Last week, a clinical trial that Emory researchers participated in was presented at the 2015 American Heart Association Scientific Sessions. The presentation revealed that the world's smallest, minimally invasive cardiac pacemaker — the Micra Transcatheter Pacing System (TPS) — was successfully implanted in nearly all of the patients participating in the international clinical trial. The study was also published in The New England Journal of Medicine. The non-randomized clinical trial enrolled a total of 725 patients across 56 centers, including Emory. Results showed the Micra TPS, which is about the size of a large vitamin and weighs less than a small coin, was successfully implanted in 99.2 percent of all patients (719 of 725). The device also over [...]

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Heart & Vascular
Warning Signs of a Stroke
Oct 20, 2015 By Yazan Duwayri, MD

strokeStrokes strike fast and, unfortunately, often. Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in America today, and one of the leading causes of disability. People over 55 years old have more chance of stroke, and the risk gets greater as you get older. How does stroke happen? A stroke happens when a blood vessel bringing blood and oxygen to the brain gets blocked (ischemic stroke) or ruptures (hemorrhagic stroke). When this happens, brain cells don’t get oxygen thy need. As a result, that part of the brain can’t work, and neither can the part of the body it controls. Damage may be temporary or permanent depending on how many cells are lost.

Warning Signs During a Stroke

Sometimes symptoms of stroke develop gradually. But if you are having a stroke, you are more likely to have one or more sudden warning signs:
  • Numbness or weakness in your face, arm, or leg, especially on

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Heart & Vascular
Can Men Get Varicose Veins?
Sep 29, 2015 By Mark Rheudasil, MD

male-legsYou bet! You may be surprised to know that almost 40% of men have some form of varicose veins. Though more common in women, abnormal veins can be a significant problem for men. Symptoms of larger veins may include:

  • Aching and heaviness
  • Fatigue
  • Restlessness
  • Leg swelling
Most men with varicose veins have a family history of similar problems. Obesity, prolonged standing and trauma or prior surgeries are also risk factors for varicose veins. Varicose vein evaluation includes a brief physical exam and often an ultrasound to look for underlying vein problems that may be a contributing factor. Patients with large varicose veins often have valve dysfunction in veins beneath the skin, which results in excess pressure in the veins. In general, abnormal veins are treated by shutting them down and redirecting blood into normal veins nearby. This may involve small injections [...]

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Heart & Vascular
What is that on my legs? Is it a Bruise or a Vein?
Sep 16, 2015 By Mark Rheudasil, MD

tired-legsVaricose veins often appear as blue or purple streaks on the legs, and larger veins may bulge or protrude above the surface of the skin. Spider veins are small red or blue veins that may look like a spider-web or branches on a tree. Larger varicose veins may look twisted and ropey, and may even be mistaken for a bruise. In general, symptoms become more likely as veins enlarge. While most patients seek spider vein treatment for cosmetic reasons, varicose veins commonly may cause symptoms such as:

  • Aching
  • Heaviness
  • Itching
  • Cramping
  • Heat
  • Swelling
Though rarely dangerous, varicose veins can occasionally result in bleeding or superficial clotting, and may, in some cases, be a sign of more severe underlying vein problems. When varicose veins begin to cause symptoms, or when the cosmetic appearance is causing distress, you should see your doctor. In addition to [...]

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