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    So you thought you knew all there is to know about your heart. Take look at these pictures and you'll appreciate it much more.

    Angiogram of Healthy Heart : The picture of health, an angiogram of a human heart shows blood vessels in sharp detail. To take an angiogram, or arteriogram x-ray, doctors must first inject the patient with a special opaque dye that allows a clear view of the heart's blood vessels, including the large left and right coronary arteries. Narrowed arteries indicate the presence of coronary artery disease. Blockages of either of the coronary arteries could lead to a heart attack. Such x-rays help doctors determine a course of treatment.

    Inside the Heart : Tissue-paper thin but tough, the valves of the human heart open and close to pump 6 quarts (0.9 liters) of blood a day through 60,000 miles (97,000 kilometers) of vessels. That's equivalent to 20 treks across the United States from coast to coast. The heart is a magnificent machine when it's in good working order. But coronary heart disease is the number one killer of American men as well as women, resulting in 500,000 deaths in the United States and killing 7.2 million people worldwide each year.

    Donor Heart : At Houston's Ben Taub Hospital, careful?and quick?steps are taken to prep a donor heart for transport and transplantation. To preserve the harvested heart, a member of the transplant team flushes it with a cooling solution that slows its metabolic rate. Doctors have a narrow window of only four to six hours to get the heart into the waiting recipient before it is no longer viable.

    Artificial Heart Implantation : Artificial heart implantation at the Berlin Heart Institute: Deft hands work to save the life of a critically ill cardiac patient at Germany?s Berlin Heart Institute. Doctors replaced the 62-year-old man's unhealthy heart with a CardioWest artificial heart during a four-hour procedure. The polyurethane heart?a temporary fix?will keep him alive until a well-matched human heart becomes available.

    Enlarged Heart : Martti Tenhu, chief medical examiner in Helsinki, Finland, illustrates the differences between a normal human heart and one enlarged by alcoholism and high blood pressure. Covered in scar tissue, the enlarged organ is nearly twice the normal size. Such alcoholic cardiomyopathy weakens the heart so that it is unable to pump blood adequately.

    Chest X-Ray : Cause for concern is apparent in the chest x-ray of an 82-year-old cardiac patient. Pneumonia in his right lung can be seen as clearly as the pacemaker implanted to regulate the rhythm of his heart. Pneumonia is a common hospital-acquired infection.

    Heart Monitor : Wired for broadcasting in real time, a participant in the landmark Minnesota Study of Twins Reared Apart transmits electrocardiograph (EKG) readings to researchers via a portable monitor. The noninvasive procedure records electrical changes in the heart that can indicate the health of the organ or the presence of heart disease.
    ...being a human...

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