Public Release: 

Cedars-Sinai medical tip sheet for April, 2000

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

New study appears to suggest that use of viagra may have adverse cardiovascular effects; points out need for further studies
A limited study conducted at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, and utilizing post-marketing adverse event reports made to the FDA, shows that there appears to be a high number of deaths and serious cardiovascular events associated with the use of Viagra, the most commonly prescribed therapy for erectile dysfunction in men.

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center researchers anticipate human clinical studies of "defective" but beneficial gene that may bring about novel ways to clear arterial plaque buildup
Members of a family from Limone, Italy, have been virtually immune to cholesterol-related heart problems and strokes, thanks to a mutant gene discovered in the 1980s. This mutant gene, referred to as the apolipoprotein A-1 Milano gene, and commonly shortened to apo A-1 Milano, may lead to major changes in the prevention and treatment of clogged arteries that lead to heart attacks and strokes.

Cedars-Sinai cardiologist and atherosclerosis researcher say parents and schools can protect kids from heart disease in later years
Although commonly considered a threat to people in their middle and later years, heart disease often gets its start in childhood, and a heart researcher at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center says parents and schools could be making a bigger difference today in preventing future epidemics.

Teenager is first in California to have "bad" cholesterol removed from blood through innovative procedure
A teen-ager at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center recently became the first in California to have their "bad" cholesterol level dramatically reduced through LDL apheresis, a procedure that has been developed for patients who have dangerously high levels of LDL cholesterol that do not respond to diet and drug treatment.

Minimally invasive procedure available for pediatric heart disorder
While pediatric open-heart surgery has long been a standard treatment for patent ductus arteriosus, Cedars-Sinai instead utilizes a minimally invasive procedure that results in incisions of only 2mm -- 3mm in length and often only a 24-hour hospital stay. Since 1994, Cedars-Sinai has been the only hospital in the South-western U.S. providing these procedures on a routine basis, performing more than 200 in the last five years.

Chair of the board of the American Liver Foundation available to comment on medicare funding for liver transplants in patients with hepatitis B
Responding to a two-year campaign waged by the American Liver Foundation, the federal agency that oversees Medicare reimbursement last month reversed a policy that denied coverage of liver transplantation for patients with hepatitis B. John M. Vierling, M.D., Chair of the Foundation's Board of Directors and Director of Hepatology and Medical Director of Liver Transplantation at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, is available for interviews.

Children born with serious heart defects avoid transplants through multi-stage surgical approach at cedars-sinai medical center
Riley Rolf may be Cedars-Sinai Medical Center's "smallest miracle." Born at 37 weeks and weighing less than three pounds, she was also born with only half a heart. Once, only a transplant might have saved her, but today a series of procedures performed by cardiothoracic surgeons at Cedars-Sinai are giving new hope to infants and their families. Pediatric heart surgeons are available for interviews, as are patient families.

Arthroscopic procedure allows many patients to avoid total hip replacement
Arthroscopic hip procedures can relieve immediately the pain caused by torn cartilage, arthritis and defective hip sockets, and delay the need for major surgery for years, possibly for the rest of a patients' life. Patients who undergo this type of surgery can often resume their normal routines within a few days, compared to the months of recovery that can be required after an open hip surgery. A pioneer in this field, Robert Klapper, M.D., is one of very few surgeons in the country who perform hip arthroscopy.

Four important steps to take before you take that herbal supplement
Science has long frowned upon some of the medicinal potions and practices of the Eastern world and those from bygone eras in the West. But many of the disdained "old wives' tales" have been showing up in over-the-counter preparations produced by legitimate pharmaceutical companies. A Cedars-Sinai internist who has also studied herbal and other "alternative" approaches to health care, says caution should be exercised when using the Internet and other sources of information and health products.

Brain bypass surgery offers hope to stroke patients
For Henrietta Bryant, who had suffered two strokes, there were no more non-surgical choices. Without intervention it was likely she would have a serious stroke within a year, but Cedars-Sinai neurosurgeons were able to restore blood flow to her brain in a microsurgical "extracranial to intracranial bypass."

Cedars-Sinai Maxine Dunitz Neurosurgical Institute begins testing new vaccine designed to prevent the recurrence of brain tumors
Researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center's Maxine Dunitz Neurosurgical Institute have launched a study of a new vaccine intended to prevent the return of malignant brain tumors that have been surgically removed. According to Keith L. Black, M.D., who directs the Institute, the vaccine is under development with The Immune Response Corporation (NASDAQ:IMNR).

Specialist in pediatric infectious diseases anticipates a significant reduction in life-threatening illness as new pneumococcal vaccine enters the market
The Food and Drug Administration's recent approval of Prevnar, a new vaccine developed specifically for infants and toddlers, is expected to have a significant impact in the number of cases of pneumococcal infections says Deborah Lehman, M.D., a specialist in pediatric infectious diseases at Cedars-Sinai.

Patients with severe emphysema enrolled in major, nationwide study
Patients with severe emphysema are being enrolled at Cedars-Sinai and at 16 other sites nationwide, in a major study comparing the outcomes of emphysema patients who receive maximum medical therapy with those who undergo medical therapy in combination with lung volume reduction surgery.

High school athlete undergoes surgery for "sweaty palms" disorder; Earns state title, spot on university team six weeks later
Hyperhidrosis, excess sweating of hands, underarms and feet, is a psychologically devastating disorder. A 17-year-old tennis player from Irvine, Calif., improved her game and the quality of her life after undergoing a simple surgical procedure at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

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