Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Myocarditis Can Attack Hearts without Warning

15.11.2010
Young father receives leading-edge intervention prior to undergoing heart transplant

James “Jimmy” Armstrong hadn’t missed a “Mac” in 28 years. At 44, he’s one of the youngest “goats” in the Chicago Yacht Club. Sailors receive the designation of “goat” once they’ve completed 20 or more “Macs”, the 333-mile boat race from Chicago to Mackinac, Michigan.

Armstrong has sailed the race every year since he was 16. But, he wasn’t among the sailors this past July. Instead, he was in intensive care awaiting heart transplant following a harrowing experience spurred by a severe case of myocarditis—a little-known condition causing inflammation of the heart muscle.

“I don’t remember much of what happened to me. A lot of it is a blur,” said Armstrong, a local business owner and father of three young daughters. “I was thinking I had a bad cold or even food poisoning, and then suddenly my health spiraled out of control.”

Armstrong had no prior history of heart problems. However, persistent bouts of dizziness and nausea sent him into the emergency room of his suburban hospital on June 6. Cardiac imaging confirmed Armstrong had acute myocarditis. While not always life-threatening, in many cases it can lead to heart failure or sudden cardiac death. Physicians believe it is caused by either a viral, bacterial, or fungal infection; drug or chemical poisoning; or connective tissue diseases, such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.

According to Northwestern Medicine cardiologist William G. Cotts, MD, patients can often have fever, aches and severe fatigue similar to cold or flu-like symptoms. This can sometimes correct with no lasting damage. But in severe cases like Armstrong’s there’s often the presence of an irregular heartbeat and trouble breathing—and symptoms usually present once the patient is already in heart failure.

This was the case with Armstrong. When he was referred to Northwestern Medicine’s cardiac specialists at the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute, the myocarditis had so aggressively deteriorated his heart function that full support—in effect an artificial-heart-like device—was his only hope.

Edwin C. McGee, Jr. MD, surgical director for the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute’s Heart Transplantation and Mechanical Assistance program was Armstrong’s cardiac surgeon. Although Armstrong ultimately required heart transplant, in July he received life-saving intervention where two HeartWare ® ventricular assist devices (VAD) were implanted onto both ventricles of his heart as a “bridge to transplant”, sustaining heart function until a heart became available. This was the first time anywhere in North America—and to date the only—instance of using the small VADs in a biventricular configuration—two VADs instead of one—implanted on a single heart. This particular device is one of the smallest, full-support experimental VADs currently available for study in humans in the US.

This past Oct. 15, Armstrong received a heart transplant. The American Heart Association estimates that an average of 300,000 people die every year from heart failure; 10,000 of them qualify for heart transplant, but only 2000 cardiac transplants occur in the US each year due to lack of organs. Assist devices such as what Armstrong received are becoming an increasingly important therapy to help individuals with advanced heart failure.

“I may never know why or how I contracted the myocarditis that destroyed my heart,” Armstrong said. “But I know I wouldn’t be here if Northwestern’s team hadn’t acted as fast as they did to save my life.”

Media Contact
Kris Lathan, Director
Northwestern Memorial Hospital
312-926-2963
klathan@nmh.org

Kris Lathan | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.nmh.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht New vaccine production could improve flu shot accuracy
25.07.2017 | Duke University

nachricht Chances to treat childhood dementia
24.07.2017 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Carbon Nanotubes Turn Electrical Current into Light-emitting Quasi-particles

Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers

Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...

Im Focus: Flexible proximity sensor creates smart surfaces

Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.

At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA mission surfs through waves in space to understand space weather

25.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Strength of tectonic plates may explain shape of the Tibetan Plateau, study finds

25.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

The dense vessel network regulates formation of thrombocytes in the bone marrow

25.07.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>