Two Lefts Make It Right: Cardiac Experts Find Novel Approach to Treat Heart Failure

Circulatory assist devices placed on both sides of heart restore normal blood flow —

A teenage girl faced with sudden rapid heart deterioration, a man in the prime years of his life suffering from debilitating heart failure and a former NFL athlete crippled by end-stage heart failure were all successfully treated with a surgical approach pioneered by cardiac experts at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine.

The work, recently published in The Annals of Thoracic Surgery, demonstrated significant benefits of implanting a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) in the right atrium to provide better blood flow through the lungs, giving complete biventricular circulatory support and fully replacing the heart’s function. …Read the full story from the UC San Diego Newsroom

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)

Researchers Discover Protein’s Pivotal Role in Heart Failure

Better understanding of molecular mechanism could lead to new drug targets —

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have identified a key piece in the complex molecular puzzle underlying heart failure – a serious and sometimes life-threatening disorder affecting more than 5 million Americans.

In a study published in the March 5 online issue of Cell Reports, Xiang-Dong Fu, PhD, and colleagues explored the heart’s progression from initial weakening to heart failure, and found that a protein, known as RBFox2, plays a critical role in this process. … Read the full story from the UC San Diego Newsroom


Ju Chen, PhD

Ju Chen, PhD

A number of Division of Cardiovascular Medicine researchers and affiliates are coauthors, including Kunfu Ouyang, Indroneal Banerjee, PhD; Caimei Zhang, Biyi Chen, Ju Chen, PhD; and Long-Sheng Song.

Dr. Chen is Professor of Medicine, American Heart Association Endowed Chair in Cardiovascular Research and Director of Basic Cardiac Research at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine.

Senior author Xiang-Dong Fu, PhD, is professor in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine and investigator in the Institute of Genomic Medicine at UC San Diego.

See Full Text of Article (open access)

UC San Diego Researchers Develop Efficient Model for Generating Human Stem Cells

Approach has potential to simplify generation of iPSCs for use in human stem cell therapies

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine report a simple, easily reproducible RNA-based method of generating human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) in the August 1 edition of Cell Stem Cell. Their approach has broad applicability for the successful production of iPSCs for use in human stem cell studies and eventual cell therapies. … Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom


Four Department of Medicine researchers are coauthors of the study report in Cell Stem Cell:

Citation for the study report: Naohisa Yoshioka, Edwige Gros, Hai-Ri Li, Shantanu Kumar, Dekker C. Deacon, Cornelia Maron, Alysson R. Muotri, Neil C. Chi, Xiang-Dong Fu, Benjamin D. Yu, Steven F. Dowdy. Efficient Generation of Human iPSCs by a Synthetic Self-Replicative RNA. Cell Stem Cell – 1 August 2013 (Vol. 13, Issue 2, pp. 246-254)  |  Read the report

UC San Diego Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center Program Receives National Recognition

Pulmonary Thromboendarterectomy program honored as “Center of Excellence”

The physicians, surgeons and team members who pioneered the lifesaving pulmonary thromboendarterectomy (PTE) procedure at University of California, San Diego Health System are being honored for excellence at the annual CHEST conference, hosted by the American College of Chest Physicians, in Atlanta, October 20 to 25, 2012.  The PTE program based at the UC San Diego Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center is among 11 specially selected “Centers of Excellence” showcasing the defining characteristics and practices that make them unique among health-care providers. … Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom


Dr. William AugerMedical director of the PTE Program at the Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center is William R. Auger, MD, pictured at left, professor of clinical medicine in the Division of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine.

Other PTE Program specialists in the Department of Medicine are Drs. Peter F. Fedullo, Kim Kerr, and Nick H. Kim of the Division of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine and Drs. Kirk Knowlton, Lori Daniels, Daniel Blanchard, and Thomas Waltman of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine.