Some Atrial Fibrillation Patients Receive Unnecessary Blood Thinners

Researchers believe cardiology specialists may be unaware of risk —

About one quarter of all atrial fibrillation patients at the lowest risk for stroke receive unnecessary blood thinners from cardiology specialists, according to a new study by researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and University of California, San Francisco, and these health care providers must be made aware of the resulting potential health risks. The findings are published online April 13 by JAMA Internal Medicine.

“Clinicians who prescribe blood thinners need to be diligent about weighing the risks and benefits of these medications,” said lead author Jonathan C. Hsu, MD, cardiologist and assistant clinical professor of medicine at UC San Diego … Read the full story from the UC San Diego Newsroom


Dr. Jonathan C. Hsu

Dr. Jonathan C. Hsu

The lead author of the study report is Jonathan C. Hsu, MD, MAS, assistant clinical professor in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine.
See Full Text of Article (PDF) (UCSD only)

Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center Is Going Red

Research Presentation and Go Red Lighting Ceremony on Feb. 6

The Sulpizio Family Cardiovascular Center, UC San Diego Health System

Sulpizio Family Cardiovascular Center, UC San Diego Health System

The San Diego American Heart Association and UC San Diego Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center invite you to join them for a special research reception program and the annual Go Red for Women building lighting ceremony. The evening will begin with a presentation about the lifesaving cardiovascular research we are conducting in partnership with the American Heart Association. Distinguished speakers from UC San Diego will include … View the details from UC San Diego Health System


Wolfgang H. Dillmann, MD

Wolfgang H. Dillmann, MD

A distinguished speaker at the Go Red event is Wolfgang H. Dillmann, MD, Helen M. Ranney Distinguished Professor and Chief, Department of Medicine.

Two other Department of Medicine faculty members are presenting their research at the Go Red event.

Kirk U. Knowlton, MD

Kirk U. Knowlton, MD, at right, is Edith and William M. Perlman Chair in Clinical Cardiology and chief of the Division of Cardiology.

Dr. Farah SheikhFarah Sheikh, PhD, left, is assistant professor in the Department of Medicine and member of the faculty in the biomedical sciences graduate program.

Four Common Antipsychotic Drugs Found to Lack Safety and Effectiveness in Older Adults

In older adults, antipsychotic drugs are commonly prescribed off-label for a number of disorders outside of their Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved indications – schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. The largest number of antipsychotic prescriptions in older adults is for behavioral disturbances associated with dementia, some of which carry FDA warnings on prescription information for these drugs.

In a new study – led by researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, Stanford University and the University of Iowa, and funded by the National Institute of Mental Health – four of the antipsychotics most commonly prescribed off label for use in patients over 40 were found to lack both safety and effectiveness. … Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom


Department of Medicine endocrinology and metabolism researchers Robert R. Henry, MD, and Sunder Mudaliar, MD, are coinvestigators in the study of the antipsychotic drugs.Dr. Robert R. Henry

Robert R. Henry, MD, is professor of medicine in the Division of Endocrinology & Metabolism at UC San Diego. At the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System (VASDHS), he is Chief of the Section of Endocrinology, Metabolism & Diabetes and Director of the Center for Metabolic Research.

Sunder Mudaliar, MD, is health sciences clinical professor in the Division of Endocrinology & Metabolism at UCSD. He is extensively involved in medical teaching and clinical care at the VASDHS. As an investigator in the Center for Metabolic Research, he performs clinical research focused on the prevention and treatment of diabetes.

More information:

Citation for the study report: Jin H, Shih PB,Golshan S, Mudaliar S, Henry R, Glorioso DK, Arndt S, Kraemer HC, Jeste DV. Comparison of Longer-Term Safety and Effectiveness of 4 Atypical Antipsychotics in Patients Over Age 40: A Trial Using Equipoise-Stratified Randomization. E-pub ahead of print, November 27, 2012, The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.

UC San Diego Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center Leader Selected “Woman of the Year”

East County Chamber of Commerce Honors Lisa Murphy for achievements in health care

Lisa Murphy, associate administrator for University of California, San Diego Health System and administrative director for Cardiovascular and Medicine Services, has been chosen “Woman of the Year” in the field of health care by the Women in Leadership program sponsored by the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce.  Murphy is one of six women of achievement – in various categories, including business, non-profit, education, government, arts/culture/media and health care – honored at the 10th Annual Women in Leadership Luncheon at the Town & Country Hotel. … Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom

More information:

UC San Diego Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center Named One of Nation’s Top Heart Hospitals

Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center

UC San Diego Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center has been named one of the nation’s 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals by Truven Health Analytics. The Truven study examined the performance of more than 1,000 hospitals by analyzing outcomes for patients with heart failure and heart attacks and for those who received coronary bypass surgery and percutaneous coronary interventions such as angioplasties. This year’s winners were announced October 1 in Modern Healthcare magazine. … Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom

UC San Diego Sulpizio Family Cardiovascular Center Honored for Design Excellence

The Sulpizio Family Cardiovascular Center, UC San Diego Health System

Sulpizio Family Cardiovascular Center, UC San Diego Health System

The region’s only comprehensive cardiovascular facility receives 2012 Modern Healthcare Award

UC San Diego Sulpizio Family Cardiovascular Center has received Modern Healthcare’s highest design honor, the 2012 Modern Healthcare Design Award. Out of more than one hundred entries, only one other project received this honor in 2012. … Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom

A Rich, Collaborative Environment Advances Patient Care

UC San Diego Health Sciences has entered a period of remarkable growth, one that will strengthen its position as a destination academic medical center. In addition to the recent addition of the Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center and Medical Education & Telemedicine Building, plans are underway for the Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute building… Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom

Dr. Ehtisham Mahmud Appointed Chief of Clinical Cardiovascular Medicine

Dr. Ehtisham MahmudDr. Ehtisham “Shami” Mahmud has been appointed Chief of Clinical Cardiovascular Medicine in the Department of Medicine and UC San Diego Health System, Interim Chair Wolfgang Dillmann, MD, has announced.

Mahmud, Professor of Clinical Medicine and a regional and national leader in cardiovascular medicine for more than a decade, is also the Co-Director of the recently-opened Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center at UC San Diego. He has been instrumental in the planning of the Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center, is part of its executive leadership team and is integrally involved in the progammatic development within the Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center.

Mahmud’s new position in the Department of Medicine, which directly reports to the Chair of Medicine, reflects UC San Diego’s increasing focus on the development and delivery of novel diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for the treatment of cardiovascular disease.

In this new position, Mahmud will be responsible for the finances, strategic plans, and faculty of the clinical enterprise in cardiovascular medicine.

“Shami has been instrumental in the growth of the cardiovascular program at UC San Diego over the past 11 years,” Dillmann said. “He will play a vital role in achieving the full potential of the Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center as a center of excellence in cardiovascular care.”

As a clinician-investigator, Mahmud’s work in both clinical care and research is focused on new and novel approaches to coronary and peripheral vascular interventions. He has extensive experience in complex coronary, renal, lower extremity and carotid interventions.

Under his leadership, the interventional cardiology program at UC San Diego has expanded to be among the largest academic interventional programs in the western United States. He has also helped lead the development and expansion of UC San Diego cardiovascular outreach clinics in Imperial Valley, Encinitas and central San Diego.

After completing an interventional cardiovascular fellowship at Emory University in Atlanta, Mahmud joined the Department of Medicine faculty as Director of the Coronary Care Unit in 2000. He has directed the Cardiovascular Catheterization Laboratories since 2002 and he also founded UC San Diego’s ACGME-accredited interventional cardiology fellowship training program.

For over a decade, Mahmud has directed an active interventional cardiology clinical trials center focusing on investigational antiplatelet/anticoagulant therapies and devices used in cardiovascular interventions. His research is focused on identifying clinical and biochemical factors associated with resistance to antiplatelet therapy. A second area of focus is defining optimal interventional techniques for the treatment of refractory hypertension. A number of medical students, residents and fellows have completed their research projects working in the interventional research unit under his mentorship.

He is among the top 1% of interventional cardiologists in the nation, according to the 2011 “Top Doctors” report from U.S. News & World Report and Castle-Connolly Medical Ltd. Mahmud has been honored on the “San Diego’s Top Doctors” list for the past two years, last year as a Top Doctor in both cardiovascular disease and interventional cardiology. He has also been listed in America’s Top Physicians in Interventional Cardiology from the Consumers’ Research Council of America annually since 2003.

Mahmud will continue to direct the Interventional Cardiology/Cardiovascular Catheterization Laboratories and will oversee both the clinical cardiology training/fellowship programs and the clinical research programs, Dillmann said.

Mahmud is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology, the Society of Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. He serves on the Interventional Scientific Council of the American College of Cardiology and the Know What Counts Public Relations Committee of the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions. He is also on the editorial boards of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, JACC Interventions and Journal of Cardiovascular Diseases.

UCSD Cardiovascular Team Honored with AHA Gold

UC San Diego Health System is one of only 167 hospitals nationwide to receive the American College of Cardiology Foundation’s NCDR ACTION Registry–GWTG (Get with the Guidelines) Gold Performance Achievement Award for 2011…. Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom

Moving Ahead With the Leadership of Interim Chair Wolfgang H. Dillmann, M.D.

Wolfgang Dillmann, MDWolfgang H. Dillmann, MD, a respected division chief and internationally recognized physician-scientist, assumes leadership of the Department of Medicine this week as Dr. Ken Kaushansky departs for his new position as Senior Vice President for Health Sciences and Dean of the School of Medicine at Stony Brook University in New York.

“Wolf has made major contributions to the Department of Medicine for decades, in the realms of science, teaching and clinical care,” said Dr. Kaushansky.

“Now, by taking on the challenging role as interim Chair, he will make even greater contributions to the students, residents, fellows and faculty who call the department home.”

Dr. Dillmann, Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, has served the Department for many years in positions on the Finance Committee and the Space Committee.

Dr. Joe Witztum, Professor of Medicine and Dr Dillmann’s longtime colleague in the division, described him as a dedicated and thoughtful leader, a superb clinician, and a true physician-scientist. “I’m not surprised that he was asked to be Interim Chair,” he said.

Dr. Tom Savides Named Executive Vice Chair

New positions in the Department of Medicine leadership team will support Dr. Dillmann in his interim role. Dr. Tom Savides, Professor of Clinical Medicine and Interim Chief of the Division of Gastroenterology, will serve as Executive Vice Chair.

Dr. Savides also holds the positions of Clinical Service Chief for Gastroenterology, Director of the Gastroenterology Fellowship Program, and Director of Advanced GI Endoscopy.

Dr. Richard Gallo, Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics and Chief of the Division of Dermatology, will serve as Vice Chair for Laboratory Research and co-chair, with Dr. Robert Schooley, of the department’s Space Committee.

Dr. Schooley, Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases, will continue as Vice Chair for Academic Affairs.

As before, Drs. Elaine Muchmore, Dan Bouland, Francis Gabbai and Ravi Mehta will serve as the vice chairs for Education, Clinical Operations, VASDHS Affairs, and Clinical Research, respectively. Maureen O’Connor is Vice Chair for Administration.

About Dr. Dillmann

“Wolf is an old-fashioned physician-scientist,” said Dr. Witztum, who joined the faculty within months of Dr. Dillmann in 1979. “In the old days, we used to talk about the ‘triple threat’ – physician, scientist, and teacher. It’s hard to do all three, particularly these days, and Wolf still really does it well.”

In his clinical activities, Dr. Dillmann specializes in endocrine diseases, especially thyroid disease. His research activities are directed at endocrine and metabolic influence on cardiovascular function.

Over the years, he has maintained a deep involvement in clinical work despite the expansion in his other roles. “He’s a superb endocrinologist and internal medicine doctor,” Dr. Witztum said.

“He’s dedicated to providing good clinical services,” he said. “He works very hard to develop clinical programs, particularly for the care of diabetic and metabolic syndrome patients.”

In recent months, Dr. Dillmann has led the division through a successful recertification of the Endocrine Fellowship Training Program. He is an active teacher in the Department of Medicine’s core courses in the School of Medicine and he serves as mentor for postdoctoral fellows and medical students.

Dr. Dillmann’s research focused initially on thyroid disease and its effects on heart function. His work has expanded in recent years to examine the biochemical and cellular properties of heart cells and the ways in which they are affected by thyroid hormone and glucose metabolism.

“He has become an international expert on cardiac metabolism in general,” Dr. Witztum said. “His studies are of interest not only to endocrinologists but also to cardiologists who are interested in the basic mechanisms by which the heart works.”

Dr. Dillmann is a member of the Diabetes and Endocrinology Research Center (DERC), the Institute of Engineering in Medicine, and the Cardiac Mechanics Research Group at UCSD.

He serves as reviewer for a number of major scientific journals including the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Endocrinology, American Journal of Physiology, the Journal of Biological Chemistry, Circulation, and Circulation Research.

View Dr. Dillmann’s list of publications (PubMed)

Dr. Dillmann was born in Germany. After he received his MD degree from the University of Munich in 1970, he came to the United States to do his medical internship at City Hospital Center, Elmhurst, Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City.

He completed his residency training in 1972 and his endocrinology and metabolism fellowship training in 1975 at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, New York. After a year as Assistant Professor of Medicine there, he moved to the University of Minnesota, where he held the position of Assistant Professor of Medicine from 1976 through 1978.

In 1979, Dr. Dillmann joined the UC San Diego School of Medicine faculty as Assistant Professor in the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 1981 and to Professor in 1987. In 2005, he became chief of the division.

He is a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians.