Summer 2005

Director's Message: Working Independently and Working Together

Chief of cardiovascular medicine Louis M. Messina, M.D., talks about the challenges and opportunities inherent in getting diverse specialist to work more closely together to care for heart and vascular patients.

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Implantable Defibrillators Underused

A number of recent clinical trials have demonstrated that implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) can significantly reduce the risk of sudden death for people with heart failure. But cardiologists and their patients are not availing themselves of this technology even when appropriate, cardiovascular researchers at UCSF say.

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Destination Therapy in Heart Failure

Many cardiologists are not fully aware that implanting a mechanical ventricular assist device early in end-stage heart failure can be beneficial as a long-term solution -- not merely as a bridge to heart transplantation, say UCSF surgeons.

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Passive Ventricular Support Device Trial

UCSF researchers are taking part in a trial of the Paracor passive ventricular support device. The device constrains ventricular over-expansion and assist ventricular contraction. The mesh device is placed around the heart using minimally invasive surgery.

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Researchers Probe Genetic Mechanisms of CV Disease

UCSF researchers John Kane, M.D., and Mary Malloy, M.D., are screening the genome key genes that affect cardiovascular health. They have already collected about 20,000 DNA specimens and have screened over 9,000 genes for an association with heart attack risk.

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Catheter Ablation, An Alternative to Drugs for Atrial Fibrillation

Radio frequency ablation is providing an increasingly attractive alternative for patients with refractory atrial fibrillation.

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Fenestrations Give View to Future of Stent Grafts

Not all abdominal aortic aneurysms can be treated with commercially available stent grafts. Fenestrated ones can be secured to the aorta, allowing blood to pass into the renal arteries. UCSF is one of six medical centers participating in a Food and Drug Administration feasibility study of the fenestrated stent graft.

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CME Courses

See information on upcoming continuing medical education courses.

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Physician Liaison Service

The UCSF Physician Liaison Service provides assistance and information to referring physicians, medical groups and health plans. Please call the Physician Liaison Service or visit

Phone: (800) 444-2559
Fax: (415) 353-4395

Transfer Center

The UCSF Transfer Center is open 24 hours daily to coordinate the transfer of your patients to UCSF Medical Center from hospitals throughout the region.

Phone: (415) 353-9166
Fax: (415) 353-9172