The Heartscan Blog.

Cardiac and heart disease news and features from VCL's expert team.

PCSK9 Inhibitors: what next?

Posted on Tuesday August 29, 2023 in Features

One area of recent breakthrough is the discovery of the role of Proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) in the regulation of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), often referred to as ‘bad cholesterol’. Interestingly, this discovery was facilitated by the identification of gain-of-function mutations, which are alterations in the human genetic code that increase the normal activity of a gene. The mutations in the PCSK9 gene result in high LDL cholesterol levels and, thus, increase the risk of developing coronary artery disease.

This article looks into the role of PCSK9, the development of PCSK9 inhibitors, their efficiency, and their potential as a game-changer in the management of cardiovascular diseases. It provides a short exploration of the subject, drawing upon the most recent and relevant research and guidelines….

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A Heart Attack is an Accident Waiting to Happen: A Deep Dive into the Swiss Cheese Model of Disaster Prevention.

Posted on Sunday August 6, 2023 in Features

Ever since 1996, I’ve been curious about why some people who have a small amount of coronary artery plaque and few risk factors for heart disease can have an unexpected and fatal heart attack, while others with more coronary plaque, many risk factors, and little treatment, can live for 30 more years without any heart attack or symptoms, even though they had their first one when they were young.

The only reasonable explanation I can think of is that with heart disease, as in life in general, luck or chance also plays a role….

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From Mosquitoes to Heart Disease: The Role of Gain of Function Mutations in Human Health

Posted on Saturday August 5, 2023 in Features

If you were to delve into a quest to identify the animal that causes the most human deaths globally, the answer might astound you. It’s neither the terrifying crocodile nor the mighty shark. Not even domesticated animals such as cows or dogs claim this infamous title. Instead, it’s the minuscule mosquito, a tiny creature with a deadly secret: it’s the primary vector for transmitting malaria.

Following the fascinating journey of genetic mutations and their impact on disease, recent research has spotlighted a possible link to coronary artery disease, a prevalent global health problem.

Could this discovery explain why so many individuals suffer from this condition?….

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Why NICE recommends Heartflow FFR CT?

Posted on Monday March 22, 2021 in Features

A good quality cardiac CT scan shows in fantastic detail the heart structures and specifically the coronary arteries.

Coronary artery disease remains the leading cause of premature death in the UK and can often strike unexpectedly in apparently well individuals. In those that have developed cardiac symptoms of chest discomfort or breathlessness, NICE have been recommending over the last 5 years that a Cardiac CT scan is the preferential method of evaluation.

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FFR CT HeartFlow

Posted on Monday March 22, 2021 in Features

FFFR CT Software.

Coronary artery disease (CHD) is the leading cause of death in the United Kingdom which develops when the arteries leading to the heart narrow or become blocked leading to a reduction in blood flow to the heart, causing chest pain, heart attacks and death. Many of the non-invasive tests available today have low accuracy rates in detecting CHD which means many patients end up having to be admitted to hospital for an invasive test to find out.

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