Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Exercise And Heparin May Grow New Blood Vessels, Improve Hearts In Children With Blocked Arteries

Date:
May 31, 2001
Source:
American Heart Association
Summary:
A new therapy using the anti-clotting drug heparin and 10-minute spurts of exercise grew new blood vessels and widened blocked arteries in children with Kawasaki disease, according to a report in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

DALLAS, May 29 – A new therapy using the anti-clotting drug heparin and 10-minute spurts of exercise grew new blood vessels and widened blocked arteries in children with Kawasaki disease, according to a report in today’s Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Kawasaki disease (KD) is characterized by fever, rash, swollen hands, feet and lymph nodes, and inflammation of the mouth, lips and throat. Its cause is unknown. About 80 percent of cases occur in children younger than age 5, and in as many as 20 percent of children with KD, the heart is affected.

The coronary arteries or the heart muscle can be damaged and susceptible to atherosclerosis. “Some Kawasaki patients are unable to have surgical or catheter revascularization procedures because of the extent of their disease,” says Masaru Terai, M.D., co-author of the study and head of the cardiology division at Chiba University School of Medicine in Japan. “Our study may provide another therapeutic option for these cases.”

Researchers studied seven children, ages 6 to 19 years old, who had a totally blocked coronary artery and were ineligible for angioplasty or surgical revascularization. The children exercised on a stationary bicycle twice a day for 10 days, gradually increasing intensity. Each session lasted about 10 minutes. Heparin was given 10 minutes before each exercise session. Heparin promotes angiogenesis, which is the development of new blood vessels.

Terai’s team examined the blood flow around the children’s artery blockages using angiography, an X-ray of the blood vessels. Angiography was performed one to three months before the heparin/exercise treatment and again within three months following the completion of 20 treatment sessions in six of the children. The follow-up angiography was not performed on the seventh patient.

The average time between the initial and final angiography was about five months. The final angiography showed that a network of tiny new blood vessels had formed in two of the patients. In all participants, angiography showed that heparin/exercise therapy increased the size of the blocked artery, thus allowing more blood to pass through. The diameter of the blocked artery widened from 1.21 millimeters (mm) to 1.35 mm.

Researchers also used single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) to evaluate the flow and volume of blood to the heart muscle around the occluded artery. SPECT produces X-ray-like images that, in this study, were graded on a 3-point scale in 17 regions of the heart with a 0 indicating normal blood flow. A patient’s total score was derived from adding the scores in all 17 regions.

At the beginning of the study, and again within a week after the last heparin/exercise session, patients underwent SPECT imaging at rest and after taking a drug called dipyridamole, which mimics the effects of physical stress on the heart. The SPECT images of the study patients were compared to those of three children with KD who did not undergo heparin/exercise therapy.

In all seven children, the heparin/exercise therapy was associated with improved blood flow to the heart muscle in the areas around the blockage. Their average SPECT scores after dipyridamole decreased from 14.2 to 8.3. In the control group, the incidence of stress-induced heart damage remained unchanged or increased, and average SPECT scores after dipyridamole increased from 8.1 to 11.4. None of the children showed evidence of new heart damage. “Previous studies of patients with angina have shown that exercise capacity was not improved by heparin or exercise alone,” says Terai. “This implies that the combination of heparin and physical stress is required for improvement in collateral circulation.”

Terai says other studies have shown that ischemia, meaning loss of blood flow that can result in tissue damage, increases the body’s production of angiogenic growth factors. “Although we did not have direct evidence of new blood vessels in the ischemic regions of the heart, there was evidence for increased blood flow to the areas, as shown by improved SPECT scores. “The heparin and exercise treatment protocol seems remarkably safe, inexpensive, and easy to perform. KD patients who have developed some collateral circulation for a blocked artery are good candidates for this therapy,” he says.

“Kawasaki disease and acute rheumatic fever are the two leading causes of acquired heart disease in children in the United States,” says Kathryn A. Taubert, Ph.D., vice president of science and medicine for the American Heart Association. “The findings from this study provide an encouraging step forward in treating children with this disease.”

Terai and his colleague’s are now investigating mid-term outcomes of heparin and exercise therapy and will report those findings soon.

Other researchers include Shigeru Tateno, M.D., Koichiro Niwa, M.D.; Toshiaki Jibiki, M.D.; Hiromichi Hamada, M.D.; Kumi Yasukawa, M.D.; Takafumi Honda, M.D.; Shinji Oana, M.D.; and Yoichi Kohno, M.D.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Heart Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Heart Association. "Exercise And Heparin May Grow New Blood Vessels, Improve Hearts In Children With Blocked Arteries." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 May 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/05/010529071622.htm>.
American Heart Association. (2001, May 31). Exercise And Heparin May Grow New Blood Vessels, Improve Hearts In Children With Blocked Arteries. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/05/010529071622.htm
American Heart Association. "Exercise And Heparin May Grow New Blood Vessels, Improve Hearts In Children With Blocked Arteries." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/05/010529071622.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

AP (July 22, 2014) Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on the legality of the federally-run healthcare exchange that operates in 36 states. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Newsy (July 22, 2014) Boston scientists have discovered a new way to create fully functioning human platelets using a bioreactor and human stem cells. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins