The heart is a paradoxical organ. It declares its presence with that distinctive thump thump, yet its moment-to-moment condition is really hard to decipher. But as I learned while editing the just-published Stanford Medicine magazine special report “Mysteries of the heart,” new technologies and research are making it easier to assess heart health and diagnose disease. With heart disease the No. 1 cause of death worldwide, that’s good news.
- "A change of heart": An interview with former vice president Dick Cheney on having "virtually everything done to me that you could do to a heart patient," culminating with a transplant.
- "Fresh starts for hearts": A feature on using stem cells to revolutionize cardiac care, and a family for which new treatments can't come soon enough.
- "The ultramarathoner's heart": Visionary computer designer Mike Nuttall's exploits as an ultramarathoner, despite having severe heart disease (online only).
- "Hiding in plain sight": The story of a man born with high cholesterol — a surprisingly common but hidden and deadly condition.
- "Switching course": A piece detailing the untangling of a heart surgery that saves babies, but threatens their lives in adulthood.
- "The heart gadgeteers": A report on the new wave of heart- and fitness-monitoring devices, and why it's hard to integrate them into the medical system.
- "Easy does it": An article on an alternative to open-heart surgery to replace aortic valves.
- "Dear Dr. Shumway": Catching up with a kid who in 1968 wrote to transplant pioneer Norman Shumway, MD, for advice — on his frog heart transplant.
Previously: From womb to world: Stanford Medicine Magazine explores new work on having a baby, Factoring in the environment: A report from Stanford Medicine magazine and New issue of Stanford Medicine magazine asks, What do we know about blood?
Illustration by Jason Holley