Dr. Gundry on calcium heart scans

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Dr. Gundry on calcium heart scans

Postby harpsicon » Mon Aug 15, 2016 12:53 pm

What a fabulous meet-up we had in Boulder!! Many thanks to all who made this possible.

Of course Dr. Gundry in particular was super-available to members of the APO E4 gang, including several dinners, Q-and-A's, and his willingness to engage with just about anybody in the group asking questions. There were several of us who spoke at length with him when there weren't a lot of other people around, and one conversation I had with him surely needs reporting to people who are interested in what he has to say.

I was very surprised indeed when he remarked, with regard to stabilizing plaque etc., that he hasn't used calcium scans for a dozen years or so, and considers them not worth the trouble! He uses the CORUScad blood test instead, "getting really interested when the score is over 30." To demonstrate his point, he showed me a number of heart scan videos (whatever) on his cell phone that showed tons of plaque, but also totally clear and functioning heart arteries! (He is such a serious guy that even when he couldn't make these work at first, he sought me out a little later to show them to me.)

Here's the link: http://www.cardiodx.com/corus-cad/product-overview/

Considering the results he has had with patients with cardiac risk, it would seem to be worth paying attention! Here are his results as published by the American Heart Association: http://atvb.ahajournals.org/content/35/ ... A309.short

Pretty amazing, imho.

Keeping up with developments like this isn't easy, and is indeed frustrating! It was only by accident that this came up...

All best to everybody on the site!

James

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Re: Dr. Gundry on calcium heart scans

Postby Stavia » Mon Aug 15, 2016 2:06 pm

Thanks Harpsichon.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2341 ... t=Abstract

537 patients, 6 months followup in the COMPASS study

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Re: Dr. Gundry on calcium heart scans

Postby Julie G » Mon Aug 15, 2016 2:13 pm

Really good point, James. A CAC score only lets you know about calcified plaque. It tells us nothing about soft plaque that may still be in the process of calcification. That being said, an EBT isn't completely useless, it just doesn't tell us the whole story. A positive score certainly points to the importance of addressing (even very early) atherosclerosis, while a negative score shouldn't give us the false impression that all is well. I think Chris (?) may have also recently posted about the CORUScad test. FWIW, my lipidologist also likes it.

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Re: Dr. Gundry on calcium heart scans

Postby Nancy » Mon Aug 15, 2016 2:16 pm

Thank you for that info! Both links were very interesting. I'm going to see about getting this test done. Wonder if it's usually covered by insurance.
3,4

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Re: Dr. Gundry on calcium heart scans

Postby harpsicon » Mon Aug 15, 2016 4:47 pm

fwiw the CORUScad website says that Aetna, Coventry and Medicare cover the test.

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Re: Dr. Gundry on calcium heart scans

Postby GenePoole0304 » Mon Aug 15, 2016 6:47 pm

Well doing a CAC test every few years helps track the progression of plaque and in the rare case when it recedes so it still has value as it is correctly understood by some othesr previously mentioned but it does have limitations and not meant to be the final definitive test. Once one has the disease one wants to slow and then regress the progression of plaque deposits and have the fibrous cap sealed over to lessen an attack risk. Newer type of scans are being tested that assess this risk which I saw a few years ago.
After quickly looking at the type of testing it does it seem like a good test but not the same category.
Beware one can still have 80% blocked arteries without any symptoms and ones arteries are can still be functioning to a high degree allowing one to be quite active but there still can be a high degree of risk of plaque rupture and having a heart attack being triggered at any time.

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Re: Dr. Gundry on calcium heart scans

Postby Tincup » Mon Aug 15, 2016 7:54 pm

Looks like they say the test is for symptomatic patients, differentiating as follows:
We estimate that approximately three million nondiabetic patients in the U.S. with no prior myocardial infarction or revascularization such as stenting or bypass surgery visit their primary care provider each year complaining of symptoms that may be suggestive of obstructive CAD. Studies have shown that only about 10% of these patients actually have obstructive CAD, while approximately 90% of patients have symptoms that stem from other non-cardiac conditions, such as musculoskeletal disorders, gastrointestinal diseases, and psychosocial illnesses.


Who is the Corus CAD patient?

The Corus CAD test is intended for use in patients who present with stable symptoms suggestive of obstructive CAD.

Typical symptoms suggestive of CAD may include:

Chest discomfort, tightness, pain, or pressure
Shortness of breath

Atypical symptoms suggestive of CAD may include:

Tightness or pressure in the throat, jaw, shoulder, abdomen, back, or arm
Squeezing, heaviness, or burning sensation in the upper body
Abdominal discomfort or fullness
Indigestion or heartburn
Nausea
Vomiting
Dizziness or light-headedness
Palpitations or awareness of heartbeat

(To be suggestive of obstructive CAD, these atypical symptoms should be concurrent with at least one CAD risk factor. Some examples of CAD risk factors include high cholesterol, hypertension, family history of heart disease, smoking, obesity, and known non-cardiac vascular disease.)


The question is, if you do have soft plaque, then what? My interpretation is that you still need to do something like Gundry's program to minimize inflammation.

I agree with GenePool that a CAC every couple of years is not a bad idea. If you have a zero or low score, you can be a bit less compliant. If your score is increasing significantly (>15%/year calcium volume score, according to the Raggi paper), then you better beware.
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Re: Dr. Gundry on calcium heart scans

Postby ru442 » Tue Aug 16, 2016 7:12 am

My GP has been doing these for years now as a non-intrusive way of determining my risk. The first one 4 years ago I scored a 24 (20th percentile), which prompted a visit to the cardiologist, who then ordered nuclear stress test (which came out negative, no blockage).

This year before I began my apoe journey, my score was 26, so I jumped up a bit but I had already begun my journey when I met with the cardiologist, so we decided to not do a nuclear test now and see what the score is next year.

So I believe this is a great tool for assessing your current risk, and you can work with your Dr.s to determine the best course of action.
Male 4/4 56 yrs., "Live, Laugh, Love"

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Re: Dr. Gundry on calcium heart scans

Postby GenePoole0304 » Tue Aug 16, 2016 2:04 pm

a nuclear stress test is overkill unless one is symptomatic and involves risk of radiation or disturbing vulnerable plaque and rupture, especially with a low score where it is unlikely one has any degree of high risk plaques obstructions. I would seriously think of getting another doctor even though he is trying to be cautious. Even Dr Gundry prefers a less invasive test and shows he is keeping up to date!

A cartoid intimia ultrasound test is a better alternative along with other blood markers.

What I have seen reported in others with low scores is in the early years the readings can go up 20-30%+ annually so it should be monitored regularly with other tests. There are methods of plaque regression 2400mg Kyolic is one with more at the other forum.
This other forum site specializes in those with already established cvd and maybe worth joining to get more insight and help.
www.heartlifetalk.com they are having some server problems recently though.

Any news of DrG's new mythical book that is supposedly due out soon?

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Re: RE: Re: Dr. Gundry on calcium heart scans

Postby ru442 » Tue Aug 16, 2016 4:43 pm

GenePoole0304 wrote:a nuclear stress test is overkill unless one is symptomatic and involves risk of radiation or disturbing vulnerable plaque and rupture, especially with a low score where it is unlikely one has any degree of high risk plaques obstructions. I would seriously think of getting another doctor even though he is trying to be cautious. Even Dr Gundry prefers a less invasive test and shows he is keeping up to date!

A cartoid intimia ultrasound test is a better alternative along with other blood markers.


I would agree, which is why we didn't do it after the second result.... hate em. Thanks for other info, already taking kyolic aged garlic at 1000mg for now.

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