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Year : 2003  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1 Table of Contents     

At a Glance


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Date of Web Publication22-Jun-2010

Correspondence Address:
Rachel Hajar
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


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How to cite this article:
Hajar R. At a Glance. Heart Views 2003;4:1

How to cite this URL:
Hajar R. At a Glance. Heart Views [serial online] 2003 [cited 2021 May 11];4:1. Available from: https://www.heartviews.org/text.asp?2003/4/1/1/64476

The conventional medical wisdom that heart muscle cells do not regenerate after a myocardial infarction has been challenged in recent years by evidence of myocyte regeneration after cardiac injury. Recent studies have shown that bone marrow cells can regenerate myocardium after infarction. In this issue of the Journal, Anversa and Nadal-Ginard from the Cardiovascular Research Institute, New York Medical College, USA, (p.5-10) highlight fascinating new findings supporting the novel concept that the adult myocardium undergoes continuous cell renewal by multipotent cardiac stem cells. They explore how bone marrow cells can differentiate and acquire properties of cardiac stem cells. The article underlines how understanding cardiac processes at the molecular level could alter the therapy of myocardial infarction and chronic heart failure.

Congestive heart failure is a progressive disease with significant morbidity and mortality. Early diagnosis and ongoing treatment are critical in slowing the disease, and improving a person's overall quality of life. The article by Seshadri and Mills from the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Ohio, USA, (p.11-18) is a superb and comprehensive state-of-the-art review on the treatment of heart failure. They discuss advances in drug therapy, new devices, and the utility of BNP measurements in directing therapeutic strategies. They stress the importance of a dedicated heart failure clinic in optimizing effective management. All physicians who care for patients with heart failure should know the use of these new treatments.

Adult cardiac surgery setup started in Qatar in 1982. The first congenital heart surgery was performed a year later, in 1983, on a young patient with patent ductus arteriosus. Adult cardiac surgeons operated on simple cases such as closure of ASDs, VSDs, shunts, pulmonary artery banding, and complete correction of Fallot's tetralogy. Qatari babies and children with complex malformations were sent abroad for surgery. In October 2000, Dr. Roxane McKay, a pediatric cardiac surgeon, joined the cardiology service at Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar. In this issue, Dr. R. McKay provides a thoughtful analysis of her local pediatric cardiac surgery experience during 2000 - 2002 and compares it with the first 10 years in Qatar, i.e. 1983-1993 (p.19-22).

This year, 2003, the scientific community celebrates the 50th anniversary of the discovery of the double helix - the "entwined embrace" of two strands of DNA, the "secret of life." The Journal commemorates that momentous event in The History of Medicine section (p.25-31) with an essay tracing the vital and historic discoveries that eventually led to cracking the "code of life" and which ushered in the genetic revolution.

Medical internship is a stressful and tiring time, but it is a time to learn through hardships, and those early lessons learned probably remain the most valuable. On-call duties and patient care can be very demanding and a sense of humor is useful in surmounting difficult situations. Dr. A. Albinali, an intern at Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar, recounts her amusing recent experiences (p.32-33). The piece is nostalgic. It is the human encounters that make medicine rich.

Last but not least, medicine is concerned with human suffering. The World Heritage section (p.34-37) features two ancient Mesopotamian poems, which vividly evoke the stark realities of war. There is no human activity more brutal and more devastating than warfare. Televised images of the recent war in Iraq brought in sharp focus the agony and misery of innocent people caught in the crossfire and cruelly reduced as "collateral damage." Haunting pictures of people digging through rubble in search of loved ones, of children burned with severed limbs, and of people deprived of food and safe drinking water, potently reinforced the horrors of war. Television footage of doctors carrying pistols and shotguns to protect their hospitals from looting in the wake of the wanton lawlessness that followed was unforgettable and surreal. Those doctors are commendable for their courage and dedication to their profession.




 

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