My doctor has ordered an echo of my heart. What is that?

October 21, 2010

Jamon R. Pruitt, M.D.

An echocardiogram is an ultrasound test used to examine the heart in motion.  The test allows accurate measurement of the heart chambers, including the size of the cavity and the thickness of the walls.  The appearance of the walls may also help identify certain types of heart disease that predominantly involve the heart muscle.  The “pumping” function of the heart can be assessed by echocardiography, and the physician can tell if the pumping power is normal or reduced.    Cardiologists often use this test (also called an Echo) to detect and study irregular heartbeats, problematic valves, heart size and structure, and damaged heart muscle.  This is useful in patients with complaints of shortness of breath, chest pain, exercise intolerance, fainting and the sensation of irregular or forceful heartbeats.

July 19, 2010

 Plavix (clopidogrel), or other blood thinners are often prescribed after this procedure.  Their purpose is to keep your blood from forming clots in your arteries and stent. A blood clot can lead to a heart attack. These medicines should be taken exactly as your doctor tells you. Do not stop taking them before talking with your doctor first.

July 19, 2010

Why is it so important to take the drug, Plavix,  following your stent procedure?

Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors

May 11, 2010

Jamon R. Pruitt, MD

Cardiovascular Disease is often the result of multiple risk factors, some of which are controllable, some are not.  The greatest risk factors include:  

high blood pressure
high cholesterol
family history

What is the difference between “good” and “bad” cholesterol?

February 9, 2010

Jamon R. Pruitt, M.D.

There are two types of cholesterol:

  • Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is often called the “bad” type of cholesterol because it can clog the arteries that carry blood to your heart. For LDL, lower numbers are better.  An LDL number of less than 100 mg/dL is best.
  • High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is known as “good” cholesterol because it takes the bad cholesterol out of your blood and keeps it from building up in your arteries. For HDL, higher numbers are better.  An HDL number of more than 60 mg/dL is best.

Welcome to the new Walker Heart Institute Blog!

February 9, 2010

Jamon R. Pruitt, M.D.

This blog is under the direction of  Jamon R. Pruitt, M.D.  Dr. Pruitt is an interventional cardiologist at Northwest Arkansas Heart & Vascular Center and Walker Heart Institute.


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