All Posts

“Irregular” Heart Rhythms and Arrhythmias: Should You Be Worried?

Most people have heard of an “irregularity” in the heart rhythm or having an arrhythmia. But there are several types of irregularities and arrhythmias. Many arrhythmias are benign, but some require treatment. So, knowing you have an arrhythmia is not the end of the subject—it is important to know what type of arrhythmia it is. We use the term normal sinus rhythm (abbreviated…

Read more

Alcohol: Part of a Heart-Healthy Lifestyle?

Summer is here and we’re enjoying barbeques—which means beer, lighter wines, along with gin and tonics. So I’d like to tackle a somewhat controversial question: Is alcohol OK to drink? What if you have heart problems? And how much is acceptable? First, I have to point out straightaway that too much alcohol can cause major toxicity to the body—particularly to the liver, the…

Read more

Right Ventricle: The Overlooked Pump

We have spent a lot of time in the last several blogs on heart failure. Virtually all of these discussions have focused on left ventricular heart failure. What about right ventricular heart failure? Yes, the right ventricle (RV) can fail, too. But many of the most common cardiovascular problems—coronary heart disease, hypertension, valvular heart disease, atrial fibrillation—create dysfunction either exclusively or predominantly in the…

Read more

High-Output Heart Failure: When High Isn’t Good Enough

We have touched on multiple aspects of CHF in several blogs this year, including discussions of how it occurs—whether in the setting of systolic dysfunction or diastolic dysfunction—what its manifestations are, how it is treated, and most recently a look at cardiomyopathies and how they cause CHF. All of these aspects of CHF have one thing in common—the heart isn’t doing…

Read more

Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy: “Broken Heart Syndrome”

Before I leave the topic of our previous three blogs, I wanted to discuss a relatively new form of cardiomyopathy. Described first in Japan in 1991, Takotsubo cardiomyopathy or Takotsubo syndrome (hereafter abbreviated TTS) has been increasingly recognized as a fairly frequent type of cardiac dysfunction. Also called “broken heart syndrome” and “transient apical ballooning syndrome,” the name derives from the…

Read more

Cardiomyopathy (Part III): When the Heart Muscle is Sick

In the last two blogs, we discussed what a cardiomyopathy is, paying particular attention to the categories of dilated and hypertrophic.  This week we’ll complete our review of cardiomyopathies with a look at the category of restrictive. While dilated and hypertrophic cardiomyopathies are defined by anatomic features (an enlarged heart chamber in the first and thickened ventricular walls in the…

Read more

Cardiomyopathy (Part II): When the Heart Muscle is Sick

Last week we discussed what a cardiomyopathy is, including the three categories of dilated, hypertrophic and restrictive. We then focused on types of dilated cardiomyopathies, along with some discussion about their treatment.  Today I’ll continue our review of cardiomyopathies by focusing on hypertrophic. Whereas a dilated cardiomyopathy is defined by the heart chamber being enlarged, a hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is defined by…

Read more

Cardiomyopathy: When the Heart Muscle is Sick

Over the last several weeks, we have been discussing the subject of CHF (congestive heart failure). I discussed the differences between heart failure from systolic dysfunction (problems with the heart contracting/pumping) and problems caused by diastolic dysfunction (problems during the relaxation phase of the cardiac cycle). These are clinical syndromes and are brought on by a variety of conditions, some of…

Read more

Cardiac Contractility Modulation: The Latest in Device Technology

We have discussed heart failure and its various treatments over the last few blogs. Last week I delved into a particular class of medications, the so-called SGLT2 inhibitors, which are  the newest “kid on the block” in our pharmacologic armamentarium to help patients with CHF. Even more recently, I became aware of a new technology called “cardiac contractility modulation” or CCM. The device,…

Read more


The contents displayed herein, such as text, graphics, and other material ("Content") are intended for educational purposes only. The Content is not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding your medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read online.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your healthcare provider or 911 immediately. Any mention of products or services is not meant as a guarantee, endorsement, or recommendation of the products, services, or companies. Reliance on any information provided is solely at your own risk. Please discuss any options with your healthcare provider.

ROI Software Solution © 2023. All rights reserved.

Gregory Koshkarian, MD, FACC