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From the Townsend Letter,
the Examiner of Alternative Medicine
February/March 2006


Web Page Potpourri:
Looking at the Heart
by Marjorie Roswell

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A column devoted to informative integrative health resources on the Internet

The August-Sept 2004 Townsend Letter included my Web Page Potpourri column on cardiovascular disease, available online at This column focuses on visual resources: charts, animations, pictures, and videos related to the heart and to heart health.

To the Heart of the Matter
You might not believe what Stu Baker was given to eat when he went to the ICU for severe heart trouble: Bacon, eggs, French toast with butter, and milk! His care ranged from the truly awful to the wonderful (depending on the hospital). His site features before and after-surgery images of his left anterior descending artery.

Making Yourself Heart Attack Proof
This 62-minute talk by Caldwell Esselstyn is essential viewing! He begins by noting that "Coronary artery disease really need never exist, and if it does exist, it need never progress." This important presentation can be watched in full-screen format.

Resolving the Coronary Artery Disease Epidemic through Plant-Based Nutrition
The most powerful parts of this Preventive Cardiology journal article by Dr. Esselstyn are the pictures. The first caption reads, "Coronary angiograms of the distal left anterior descending artery before and after 32 months of a plant-based diet without cholesterol-lowering medication, showing profound improvement."

Human Heart Pictures
Just Plain Links
Heart Disease & Circulatory System
The Hardin Meta Directory contains links to the best medical links directories on the web. (It is a "meta" directory simply because it contains links to links.) However, for a select list of topics—when they couldn't find enough great links directories—the creators of this web site developed their own link content. Human Heart Pictures is a truly superb collection. Be sure to check the "Just Plain Links" for the other topics—approximately one-third of them are pictorial. The third URL above is a general Heart Disease & Circulatory System meta directory. Look for the following "picture-enhanced" directory pages.

  • Angina +Pictures
  • Atherosclerosis +Pictures
  • Congestive Heart Failure +Pictures
  • High Blood Pressure +Pictures

Medical Images and Illustrations
This is another core site, including 40 links to image-rich cardiology sites.

Modeling the Heart
Most of us will never come close to having the talent of Joe Lertola. His artwork has graced the pages of national magazines, including a story on "A Woman's Heart" in Time magazine. His website includes a tutorial on how to draw the heart and the arteries that flow on its surface. The tutorial requires considerable expertise in technical illustration, but it is certainly interesting to look at.

Computed Tomography Angiography
Four very large video files (24+ megabytes) allow you to visualize the heart in three dimensions. You can view normal coronary arteries, a coronary artery stent, bypass grafts, and also peripheral circulation (in the legs). These videos were taken from live subjects who were injected with special dye.

Braunwald Atlas of Heart Diseases
This Atlas of Heart Diseases from Pfizer allows you to download slides for presentations and lectures. Not surprisingly, the information is fairly mainstream. For instance, I got this message: "Your search for 'chelation' produced 0 results." (The search term "hypertension" yielded 483 results.) The site contains a prominent link to Pfizer's pharmaceutical solution. The slides are available for personal use, but be sure to check the copyright information on the help page for details.

Coronary Disease
Scroll down the page to check out the flash-based tutorials on Coronary Angiogram and Angioplasty and the Echocardiography Stress Test

Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG) Surgery
This illustration of heart bypass surgery makes it look like a form of torture. It's as good a reason as any to watch the Esselstyn talk, "Making Yourself Heart Attack Proof" referenced above.. I am still trying to find a picture of a patient with a post-surgical breastbone scar from standard heart bypass surgery. Seems hospitals prefer the artist's illustrations to showing the real thing.

Minimally Invasive Direct-Visualized CABG
I can only read a few words (the English ones) on this Japanese website, but it is certainly a compelling site, due to the photographs and illustrations showing minimally invasive, direct-visualized CABG. Pronounced "cabbage," CABG stands for Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery, also known as heart bypass surgery. The minimally invasive kind leaves a smaller scar (but still cuts through skin and bone to get to the heart, of course).

Coronary Artery Disease Treatment - Surgery
This includes similar content, in English.

Circulatory System
Consult this illustration to locate the cephalic and great saphenous veins, and brachial and radial arteries.

Doe Report
When litigants bring medical cases to court, their lawyers use high-quality medical illustrations, animations, and anatomical models. All the images on this site are copyrighted. You may view samples online, prior to purchase.

Cardiothoracic Imaging
On many of these images, if you "mouse-over" the image, the labels are revealed. If you click on the image, you get an extended caption.

Cardiology Atlases
This is the English cardiology page from Medical University in Irkutsk, Russia. If you click on "Russian," you won't get a translated page. Instead you will get separate Russian content. They note: "Unlike most Internet directories that return far too many random choices, we do permanent analysis to choose only professional and content-rich sites."

Animations and Illustrations
Illustrations and animations from angina to ventrical septal defects.

Heart-shaped Patents
(2/06: Both links redirect you to the same page.)
Here is a small collection of heart-shaped patents since 1980, including the heart-shaped pizza pan, heart-shaped candy box, and the love unicorn (adorned with hearts).

Valentine's Day History, Symbols, Folklore, and Phobias
Against a soft red backdrop, this site shares some history on the origin of Valentine's Day, and considers some shapely ideas on how the valentine got its heart.

Marjorie Roswell
3443 Guilford Terrace
Baltimore, MD 21218 USA
Phone: 410-467-3727


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