Endocarditis: How One Patient Beat This Deadly Disease

“My 27-year-old patient was on a ventilator in intensive care. No one expected her to survive,” says Gösta Pettersson, MD, PhD, Vice Chairman of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery at Cleveland Clinic. “She had endocarditis — caused by years of drug abuse.” Endocarditis is an infection that “devours” the heart muscle. It comes from common bacteria, … Read More

Can You Prevent Narrowing of Your Aortic Valve? (Video)

We’ve suspected for some time that high cholesterol is one of the risk factors for developing aortic stenosis (narrowing of the aortic valve). It’s been clear that high cholesterol is a risk factor for developing coronary blockages, but only recently has evidence emerged showing that it also causes a risk of narrowing of the aortic … Read More

Is Heart Disease In Your Genes?

Do you wonder why some smokers develop heart disease, but others don’t? Or how someone who thrives on burgers and fries can live to be 90, when a vegetarian has a heart attack at 40? The answer may be in the genes. And the fact is, we are only beginning to understand how they affect … Read More

When Valve Surgery Is Not an Option, Think TAVR

Many older patients with heavy calcium deposits on their heart’s aortic valve (a condition called aortic stenosis, or AS) are considered too high risk for valve replacement surgery. Today, these patients have an option in transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR). TAVR is a method of inserting a new aortic valve within a damaged valve through … Read More

Pilot Heart Health: Keeping You Safe in the Sky

Just as a pilot’s plane needs maintenance for safety, the pilot himself needs regular checkups for his own health—especially when it comes to heart health. With the help of their cardiologists, many pilots can keep their hearts strong and continue to fly. Checking pilots’ health Federal Aviation Administration-authorized aviation medical examiners evaluate pilots and issue … Read More

The Future is Here: Robot-Assisted Heart Surgery (Video)

Surgery to repair your mitral valve, one of the heart’s four valves that keeps blood pumping efficiently, is higher-tech than ever. At Cleveland Clinic, which has the world’s greatest experience with mitral valve repair, robotically assisted surgery is now an option for many patients—and you could be one of them, depending on your surgeon’s assessment … Read More

TAVR Procedure Safe for Elderly with Aortic Stenosis

High-risk patients with severe narrowing of the aorta are no longer out of options – even if they’re in their 90s. A recent Cleveland Clinic Heart and Vascular Institute study confirms that Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is now safe and effective for patients well into their 80s and 90s. The key to successful results … Read More