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)

Mother Delivers Baby, Develops Heart Disease

UC San Diego Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center among first in region to implant cardiac device

Three weeks after delivering her first child, Amanda began to suffer from extreme fatigue, headaches, a tight chest and stomach pain. An initial diagnosis of pneumonia changed for the worse: Amanda was experiencing heart failure. She was quickly transferred to UC San Diego Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center where a multidisciplinary team implanted a novel cardiac device under her skin, leaving the heart untouched, to prevent sudden cardiac arrest. … Read the full story from the UC San Diego News Center

Kawasaki Disease and Pregnant Women

UC San Diego researchers say risks are manageable, provided doctors recognize them

In the first study of its type, researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have looked at the health threat to pregnant women with a history of Kawasaki disease (KD), concluding that the risks are low with informed management and care.

The findings are published in the March 6, 2014 online edition of the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. …Read the full story from the UC San Diego News Center


Dr. Lori DanielsDepartment of Medicine faculty members Lori B. Daniels, MD, right, and Andrew M. Kahn, MD, PhD, were investigators in the study.

Both are associate clinical professors in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine.

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.

California’s First Robotically Assisted Coronary Stenting Procedure Performed at UC San Diego Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center

Technology Improves Accuracy of Device Placement and Patient Outcomes

The interventional cardiology team led by Ehtisham Mahmud, MD, FACC, at UC San Diego Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center (SCVC) has successfully completed the first two robotically-assisted coronary angioplasty/stent procedures in California. Patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) now have access to this new technology that puts the precision of a robot in the hands of interventional cardiologists during procedures to open clogged heart arteries. … Read the full story from the UC San Diego News Center

High Rankings for Internal Medicine Specialties in 2013-2014 “America’s Best Hospitals” Report

Internal medicine subspecialties received high rankings and played a large part in UC San Diego Health System’s excellent showing in the U.S. News & World Report “America’s Best Hospitals 2013-2014” guide released July 16.

Clinical efforts of Department of Medicine divisions are either partly or completely responsible for 7 of the 10 UC San Diego Health System adult specialties that ranked in the nation’s top 50 this year and 1 of the 4 ranked as high performing:

In addition, Rheumatology is ranked as high performing once again (Division of Rheumatology, Allergy & Immunology).

Last year, three Department of Medicine specialties ranked in the nation’s top 50 and five were rated high performing.

Wolfgang H. Dillmann, MD“We can be very proud of achieving such a significant rise in our specialty rankings in one year,” said Wolfgang H. Dillmann, MD, Helen M. Ranney Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine.

In an announcement to the Department of Medicine faculty, he said, “Thank you for your hard work and your dedication in your patient care activities.

“Your efforts play a major part in distinguishing UC San Diego Health System as one of the finest hospitals in the country, and the top hospital in the San Diego metropolitan area.”

Details of the rankings for UC San Diego Health System are published online here. |  More about the methodology

UC San Diego Health System Ranks #1

UC San Diego Health System is once again ranked among the nation’s best in U.S. News & World Report’s 2013-14 “America’s Best Hospitals” issue. The magazine placed UC San Diego Health System #1 in the San Diego metropolitan area with national rankings in 10 specialties—placing it among the country’s most prestigious institutions. … Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom


Doctor and patient. Stock photo.

Rankings for UC San Diego Health System Internal Medicine Subspecialties

In the nation’s Top 50:

High Performing:

Details of the rankings for UC San Diego Health System are published online here.

Drs. Felipe Nascimento Kazmirczak and Stephen Vampola Present Their Research at Grand Rounds

Drs. Nascimento Kazmirczak and Stephen Vampola

Drs. Nascimento Kazmirczak (left) and Vampola field questions after their presentations.

Felipe Nascimento Kazmirczak, MD, and Stephen Vampola, MD, junior residents in the categorical track of the UCSD Internal Medicine Residency Program, presented results of their elective mentored research projects at Medicine Grand Rounds on March 20.

The Internal Medicine Residency Training program offers trainees two months of elective time during their second or third year to undertake a research project under the guidance of a faculty mentor.

Dr. David Krummen

The mentor for both residents was UCSD cardiac electrophysiologist Dr. David Krummen, right, who watched from front row center in the auditorium as they made their presentations.

Krummen, a ventricular fibrillation researcher, is associate professor of medicine with UC San Diego Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center and associate director of electrophysiology at the San Diego Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Dr. Stephen Vampola

Vampola’s research project was “Mechanistic Implications of Tissue Rate Gradients in Human Ventricular Fibrillation.” He described the research experience as “fulfilling and formative.”

He said his longstanding goal has been to merge his interest in engineering — he studied electrical engineering as an undergraduate and biomedical engineering in graduate school — with his interest in medicine. He earned his MD degree at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

“Now that I have a clinical background,” he said, “I was eager to participate in research that would allow me to combine my unique skill set. The field of cardiac electrophysiology, which by its very nature is analytical and mathematical, is just that.”

Dr. KazmirczakA career in academic medical research has been Nascimento Kazmirczak’s plan for many years.

He came to the United States from Brazil after he earned his MD degree at Universidade Lut Brasil because he was seeking the high-level academic investigators and research opportunities found at major American institutions such as the Mayo Clinic, Brigham and Women’s Hospital at Harvard or UC San Diego.

The project he presented at Grand Rounds was “Identification of Human VF Mechanism Using Surface ECG.”

As he designed his elective research rotation this year, Nascimento Kazmirczak’s interest in cardiology and his strong interest in cardiac electrophysiology led him to Drs. Krummen and Sanjiv M. Narayan and into the ventricular fibrillation research group.

Narayan, professor of medicine in cardiology, is director of electrophysiology at the VA San Diego Healthcare System.

“It was very interesting, and challenging too,” Nascimento Kazmirczak said. “A lot is not known about the mechanism of ventricular fibrillation. If you identify the mechanism, you can prevent it.”

Drs. Felipe Nascimento Kazmirczak and Wolfgang Dillmann.

Dr. Wolfgang Dillmann, Helen M. Ranney Distinguished Professor and chair of the Department of Medicine, comments on Dr. Felipe Nascimento Kazmirczak’s presentation.

Nascimento Kazmirczak and the other researchers devised a way to induce and study VF in humans rather than in explanted hearts or animal models. Theirs is one of the largest human VF studies now in existence.

Vampola described David Krummen as an outstanding mentor. Nascimento Kazmirczak said, “He dedicated a huge amount of time to helping us.”

Krummen also worked with the two residents to prepare and fine-tune their Grand Rounds presentations in technical detail and in overall clarity.

“This has been a very fulfilling experience,” Vampola said. “One of the unique features of being a physician is the ability to have a highly multifaceted career. I would strongly recommend that anyone with the opportunity to do so, at some point in their career, participate in research in a field that interests them.

“As a resident with access to the vast pool of research efforts at UCSD, it is hard for me to imagine a better place to do this.”

Asked whether he envisions a career as an academic physician-scientist, Vampola says it has been an evolving question for him. His mentored research experience has nudged him toward the affirmative.

“Having identified a field of research that suits my talents and interests well, I find it fulfilling and addictive,” he said. “Looking at my current trajectory and extrapolating to the future, I can definitely envision myself as a physician-scientist with a strong bent towards research.”

UC San Diego Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center Listed among Nation’s Best Heart Hospitals

From the UC San Diego Health System Newsroom:

The Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center located at University of California, San Diego Health System has been named among “100 Hospitals with Great Heart Programs” by Becker’s Hospital Review, a business and legal news publication for hospital and health system leadership. … Read the full story from the UC San Diego Health System Newsroom

UC San Diego Cardiology Team Performs 100th Extraction Procedure with 100 Percent Success Rate

A multidisciplinary team from the Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center at University of California, San Diego Health System has performed its 100th lead (pronounced “leed”) extraction surgery, a delicate procedure to replace the thin wiring of lifesaving heart devices such as pacemakers or implantable defibrillators (ICDs). The collaborative program, pioneered at UC San Diego Health System, has a 100 percent success rate. … Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom