The President and the Pheochromocytoma
ABSTRACT President Eisenhower experienced an acute heart attack in September 1955 and died of ischemic cardiomyopathy 14 years later. The autopsy revealed, unexpectedly, a 1.5-cm pheochromocytoma in the left adrenal gland. In view of these hitherto unreported findings, the investigators analyzed the blood pressure pattern of the president throughout his life. Although hypertension was documented on and off from 1930 until his death, it is unknown whether the pheochromocytoma was present during his presidency. During the later part of President Eisenhower's life, excessive systolic and diastolic blood pressure spikes were documented, although he concomitantly had severe ischemic cardiomyopathy. In conclusion, most likely, the pheochromocytoma was the underlying cause of this erratic blood pressure pattern and may have worsened the course of the president's ischemic cardiomyopathy.
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ABSTRACT: Visceral adipose tissue (VAT) compartments may confer increased metabolic risk. The incremental utility of measuring both visceral and subcutaneous abdominal adipose tissue (SAT) in association with metabolic risk factors and underlying heritability has not been well described in a population-based setting. Participants (n=3001) were drawn from the Framingham Heart Study (48% women; mean age, 50 years), were free of clinical cardiovascular disease, and underwent multidetector computed tomography assessment of SAT and VAT volumes between 2002 and 2005. Metabolic risk factors were examined in relation to increments of SAT and VAT after multivariable adjustment. Heritability was calculated using variance-components analysis. Among both women and men, SAT and VAT were significantly associated with blood pressure, fasting plasma glucose, triglycerides, and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and with increased odds of hypertension, impaired fasting glucose, diabetes mellitus, and metabolic syndrome (P range < 0.01). In women, relations between VAT and risk factors were consistently stronger than in men. However, VAT was more strongly correlated with most metabolic risk factors than was SAT. For example, among women and men, both SAT and VAT were associated with increased odds of metabolic syndrome. In women, the odds ratio (OR) of metabolic syndrome per 1-standard deviation increase in VAT (OR, 4.7) was stronger than that for SAT (OR, 3.0; P for difference between SAT and VAT < 0.0001); similar differences were noted for men (OR for VAT, 4.2; OR for SAT, 2.5). Furthermore, VAT but not SAT contributed significantly to risk factor variation after adjustment for body mass index and waist circumference (P < or = 0.01). Among overweight and obese individuals, the prevalence of hypertension, impaired fasting glucose, and metabolic syndrome increased linearly and significantly across increasing VAT quartiles. Heritability values for SAT and VAT were 57% and 36%, respectively. Although both SAT and VAT are correlated with metabolic risk factors, VAT remains more strongly associated with an adverse metabolic risk profile even after accounting for standard anthropometric indexes. Our findings are consistent with the hypothesized role of visceral fat as a unique, pathogenic fat depot. Measurement of VAT may provide a more complete understanding of metabolic risk associated with variation in fat distribution.Circulation 08/2007; 116(1):39-48. DOI:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.106.675355 · 14.43 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Contrast-enhanced multidetector-row computed tomography (MDCT) is now capable of providing high-quality noninvasive views of cardiac anatomy and 'instant' noninvasive coronary angiography. With current generation 64-slice scanners, MDCT can be performed in most patients with minimal patient discomfort and high diagnostic accuracy. MDCT may obviate the need for invasive diagnostic angiography in patients with borderline symptoms or equivocal noninvasive testing. It is useful in assessing the symptomatic patient postrevascularization and in emergency room triage in selected patients with chest pain. Calcified vessels are still difficult to assess, as is the accurate evaluation of implanted coronary stents. The volume of contrast material required for proper opacification limits the use of MDCT in patients with renal dysfunction, but newer emerging technologies will greatly improve these disadvantages in the near future. MDCT is expected to become an integral part of our diagnostic armamentarium in the cardiac patient.Cardiology 02/2008; 109(2):73-84. DOI:10.1159/000105546 · 2.18 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The goal of non-invasive diagnostic testing is to detect coronary artery disease (CAD) timely and with optimal fidelity. In women, the accuracy of most functional diagnostic investigations is diminished compared with men. To minimize the sex-related bias in detection of CAD, there is a need for a non-invasive test strategy capable of risk-stratifying women, and of identifying subsets of patients in need of further invasive testing. The present review discusses the validity of classical diagnostic procedures for CAD in women, and addresses the relevance of newer techniques in the context of a female-specific diagnostic approach.European Heart Journal 04/2008; 29(6):707-17. DOI:10.1093/eurheartj/ehn047 · 15.20 Impact Factor