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HEART ATTACK; A Fatal Heart Attack Can Occur With Normal Coronary Arteries

Patricia at 58 years of age is in relatively good health but began to experience intermittent pain on the left side of her chest, near her shoulder. The pain was dull and stabbing and would last for up to a minute or more. She was worried. So she was off to a trip to the hospital emergency room.

By: Bill Sardi

Doctors there became concerned because of her age and symptoms. Patricia was kept in the emergency room for 20 hours for extensive monitoring. Chest x-rays were negative for pneumonia or pleurisy. An electrocardiogram was normal. Blood samples were drawn every hour or two to check for elevated enzyme levels that would indicate a heart attack had taken place. A cardiologist was summoned and an echo cardiogram performed. Everything was normal, including a treadmill test.

But the chest pain continued. She returned to her bookkeeping desk job on Monday at the office of James Privitera MD, a Covina, California physician specializing in holistic medicine.

Patricia explained her symptoms to Dr. Privitera. He immediately took her to the exam room where a small sample of blood was drawn and smeared on a glass slide and placed under a microscope. A video camera is mounted on the microscope so doctor and patient can conduct a live blood cell analysis. This is called dark-field microscopy. A still photo of Patricia’s blood revealed what the emergency room doctors missed. (See below.)

Patricia's dark-field live cell blood analysis, as shown in this photograph. Round discs are red blood cells. The large blob is a thrombus or clot under 100X magnification.

It was a huge blood clot, evidence that Patricia’s blood platelets were sticky and clumping.

Infections, medications (birth control pills, estrogen replacement,) sugary diets, and other factors tend to encourage sticky blood platelets, the blood factor that causes a thrombus that blocks circulation in heart attacks and strokes.

Dr. Privitera instructed Patricia to consume some fish oil and magnesium capsules and within minutes her pain was gone. Subsequent dark-field blood cell analysis showed resolution of the clotting. She continues to take fish oil and magnesium capsules preventatively.

The emergency room doctors ordered every test to determine if Patricia had already experienced a heart attack, but had no way of detecting a looming heart attack with anginal (chest pain) symptoms due to a blood clot.

In Dr. Privitera’s many years of experience, he has found that live blood cell analysis always correlates with standard tests for blood clotting. A study conducted by Dr. Privitera in 2006 showed a 95% correlation with highly-sensitive C-reactive protein, a blood marker of inflammation, and excess clotting.

Why is this story significant? Dr. Privitera finds 1 in 3 patients visiting his office have blood clotting problems, as exhibited on the dark-field microscope test, and are at greater risk to experience a heart attack and other health problems. Imagine the number of heart attacks and other health problems that could be quickly detected and avoided if the office of every primary care doctor and cardiologist employed this simple and inexpensive test?

Up to 12% of adults who experience a heart attack have perfectly normal coronary arteries, particularly younger patients. There may be no cholesterol or calcium plaque that is narrowing the arterial lumen, which angiograms or echo cardiograms might normally detect. [Scandinavian Journal Clinical Laboratory Investigation April 3, 1–5, 2009]

There is no commonly used test for a thrombus (a large clot) that is forming within any of the four coronary arteries that supply the heart with oxygenated blood. Adults who experience recurrent migraines or have had a recent fever/infection are at greater risk for a heart attack with normal coronary arteries. [Chest 117: 333–38, 2000]

Dr. Privitera says, in over 40 years of examining patients' medical records, he has rarely seen a report of the status of blood platelets, the clotting component of blood, even though more than 90% of all heart attacks are caused by the formation of a thrombus.

The bill for Patricia’s emergency room services came to $11,000. The normal billing for Dr. Privitera’s live blood cell analysis costs $40.

In the current public discussions over healthcare costs there are heated arguments over the high cost of health insurance. Many decry the idea of rationing care to bring budgets under control. Yet the Congressional Budget Office estimates some $700 billion of needless health care is performed annually.

Dr. Privitera says many diagnostic tests touted as preventive medicine only result in more disease to treat, and greater health care costs, and not necessarily healthier patients or desirable outcomes. Dark-field live blood cell analysis is an exception. It truly detects medical conditions before more expensive treatment is needed.

Americans often brag they live in a country with the best medical care, but it is becoming all too evident that, in reality, Americans live in a country that provides the most expensive medical care, not necessarily the best quality care.

All that medical technology that was employed in Patricia’s case could not detect an impending heart attack. It could only tell doctors if a heart attack had already occurred.

Dr. Privitera educates patients that vitamin E, garlic oil (not the powder), magnesium, vitamin B6, clot busting enzymes like bromelain and nattokinase, ginger root, resveratrol, and many other nutritional supplements safely inhibit blood clotting, and in fact many of these can be taken at the same time without over-thinning the blood and causing bleeding.

Aspirin is the most commonly relied upon over-the-counter blood thinner, but it is fraught with so many side effects that if it were to be introduced for the first time today it would not likely gain approval from regulatory agencies. Hemorrhagic stroke, gastric ulcer, irreversible asthma, esophageal erosion, nutrient depletion (vitamin C, folic acid), are among the many side effects associated with aspirin therapy, even baby aspirin use.

Dr Privitera explains the importance of understanding how a heart attack can occur in normal coronary arteries in this YouTube film.

September 2, 2009

Bill Sardi

Dr. Privitera’s Program to Reduce the Risk of Heart Attack:

Kyolic EPA: EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid, a fatty acid) with garlic and fish oil; 280 mg. 5X daily Jarrow Borage Oil, containing 1000 mg of pure borage seed oil and 10 IU of vitamin E; 250 mg, once daily Pure: magnesium and potassium and 33 mg elemental magnesium Thyroid Chew: porcine thyroid glandular extract; ¼ g daily Natur Practic Super Enzymes: containing pancrelipase, pancreatin, pepsin, betaine HCL, papain, amylase, oxbile extract, and others; 2 after each meal Vitamin E: 1000 IU daily L-carnitine;250 mg, 2 before each meal Raw Heart: glandular extract from cattle heart, plus added magnesium, manganese, and potassium; 3X daily Vitamin C: 5000 mg daily, divided into 2 doses Cardiovascular Research: liver glandular extract, containing 100 mcg vitamin B12 and 550 mg liquid liver fractions; 2X daily Selenium: 200 mcg, once daily Maxiblast: multivitamin and antioxidant; 2 after each meal.

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