New target found for disease of the heart's smallest blood vessels

ScienceDaily | 8/12/2019 | Staff
AnnieFoxx (Posted by) Level 3
Now researchers at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University have found that a chemical in our bodies known to help blood vessels dilate also sends that signal to the larger blood vessels that more blood is needed.

They've also found that in diastolic heart failure, a condition where the left ventricle, the major pumping chamber of the heart, can't relax enough to fill adequately, the natural inhibitor of that chemical goes up and communication with upstream blood vessels goes down. And, when they bring the inhibitor down, it reduces the heart dysfunction, they report in the journal Circulation: Heart Failure.

Cardiologists - Dr - Zsolt - Bagi - Biologist

"What we are talking about here even many cardiologists cannot see," Dr. Zsolt Bagi, vascular biologist in the MCG Department of Physiology, says of the microvasculature that pervades our heart muscle, aligning one on one with each individual heart cell.

One of the problems is there is not much that can be done to treat this type of tiny blood vessel disease if it is found, says Bagi, the study's corresponding author.

Bagi - MD/PhD - Student - Alec - Davila

But Bagi and MD/PhD student Alec Davila think they have found more reason to look.

Like the larger coronary artery problems most of us probably think of when we think of heart disease, factors like high cholesterol, high blood pressure and smoking, can also produce disease in these tiny blood vessels so the essential communication about more blood doesn't happen well and we can end up with heart muscle damage and heart failure.

Dysfunction - Problems - Heart - Failure

Microvascular dysfunction is thought to underlie many of the problems associated with diastolic heart failure, but how was an unknown and so is which comes first.

In an obese rat destined to develop diastolic heart failure, and in the blood vessels of patients, the investigators have some of the first evidence that there is a "critical deficit" in the ability...
(Excerpt) Read more at: ScienceDaily
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