Monthly Archives: August 2017


  • -Real time measurement of pressure & volume within left ventricle
  • -It gives information on stroke volume, cardiac output, ejection fraction, and myocardial contractility
  • -The LV pressure is plotted against the LV volume at multiple points during a single cardiac cycle

1 → 2 (isovolumetric contraction). The cycle begins at the end of diastole at point 1. Ventricular pressure is low because the ventricular muscle is relaxed. On excitation, the ventricle contracts and ventricular pressure increases. The mitral valve closes when left ventricular pressure is greater than left atrial pressure. Because all valves are closed, no blood can be ejected from the ventricle (isovolumetric).

2 → 3 (ventricular ejection). The aortic valve opens at point 2 when pressure in the left ventricle exceeds pressure in the aorta. Blood is ejected into the aorta, and ventricular volume decreases. The volume that is ejected in this phase is the stroke volume. Thus, stroke volume can be measured graphically by the width of the pressure–volume loop. The volume remaining in the left ventricle at point 3 is end-systolic volume.

3 → 4 (isovolumetric relaxation). At point 3, the ventricle relaxes. When ventricular pressure decreases to less than aortic pressure, the aortic valve closes. Because all of the valves are closed again, ventricular volume is constant (isovolumetric) during this phase.

4 → 1 (ventricular filling). Once left ventricular pressure decreases to less than left atrial pressure, the mitral valve opens and filling of the ventricle begins. During this phase, ventricular volume increases to about 140 mL (the end-diastolic volume).

Loops Based off Drugs

Increased Preload/ Intravenous Fluids

  • -Increases end diastolic volume and increases stroke volume
  • -Increases width of pressure-volume loop

Decreased Afterload – ACE-inhibitors, ARB’s

  • -Increased stroke volume because ventricle ejects blood against a lower pressure in the systemic vasculature
  • -Causes increased width of pressure-volume loop
  • -Decreases end systolic volume

Increased Contractility/Positive Inotropes – Dobutamine, Dopamine

  • -Ventricle develops more tension during systole, leads to an increase in stroke volume
  • -Decreases end systolic volume






















Deaths due to Alzheimer’s disease have sky-rocketed by 89% since the year 20001. Currently, 5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease with 16 million projected to have it by 20501. Alzheimer’s is an insidious, chronic disease that affects patients and their families for about a decade before killing them. It puts extreme emotional and financial stress, not only on the patient, but also on the family members and caregivers who look after patients during their illness.

Emerging research comparing plant based diets, like the vegan diet, to the average American diet show that a plant based diet has neuroprotective effects for the brain. For example, a recent study from California showed that vegan subjects were half as likely to become demented compared to those who ate meat, including poultry and fish. Cumulative data on vegetarians show a trend of delayed onset of dementia overall2. Harvard University researchers found that older women who eat foods containing monounsaturated fats, such as avocado, nuts, and seeds, are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than those who eat foods high in saturated fats, like meat and butter.3

The typical Western diet consists of high carbohydrates, high saturated fats, and refined sugars, increases oxidative stress in the body, which significantly contributes to cardiac and cerebrovascular disease. Both of these disease states are caused by fat and cholesterol plaques building up along the sides of blood vessels walls throughout the body. Poor diet doesn’t just affect the vessels in your heart; it affects the vessels in your brain too! The small vessels of the brain can become clogged leading to small areas of brain death. Eventually these damaged areas can cause dementia and cognitive defects. Along these lines, a study from the Mayo Clinic discovered women with heart disease are three times more likely to develop cognitive problems associated with dementia.3

The evidence is clear: our typical Western Diet is linked with the development of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. We need a diet shift that supports a plant based diet to prevent heart disease, diabetes mellitus, and dementia. Foods that decrease oxidative stress like fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts can protect our brain health in addition to helping us lose weight, reduce fatigue and medications. Your physical health and mental health will both be improved by the significant antioxidant properties of the plant based diet. So head to the produce isle today!


  1. Alzheimer’s Association.
  2. Giem, P., W.L. Beeson, and G.E. Fraser. “The incidence of dementia and intake of animal products: preliminary findings from the Adventist Health Study.” Neuroepidemiology. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1993. Web. 08 Aug. 2017.
  3. “New Link Between Dementia and Diet.” PETA Prime. Mayo Clinic, 27 Feb. 2013. Web. 08 Aug. 2017.
  4. Solfrizzi, V., et. al. “Relationships of Dietary Patterns, Foods, and Micro- and Macronutrients with Alzheimer’s Disease and Late-Life Cognitive Disorders: A Systematic Review.” Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, Volume 59 (2017), pp 815-849.
















Close your eyes for a moment. Imagine your wife or husband is told by your doctor that you had a significant heart attack. He explains that you may not survive the night and your wife or husband should bring your teenaged children to the hospital to say, “Good bye”. And if you do survive your family, the people you love the most in the world can be consoled by the fact that you will most likely be a vegetable and unable to take care of yourself. Now how do you feel? It could happen to you, G-d forbid. It happened to me. Please read my story below so you won’t have to live with the same guilt I now live with for the rest of my life.

My name is Leibel Winegard and I usually don’t like to write about myself nor do I typically engage in social media. However, I believe it is vital for me to spread my story because it may help someone out there. I have told my story several times and several cardiologists have suggested that I need to make sure that as many people as possible understand that what happened to me, can easily happen to you. I write this story with tears. This account originates from multiple sources because candidly, I lost six days of my life that I cannot account for today. I simply don’t have any recall of even leaving my home, much less all that happened to me and my family once my heart attack started. I’ve done the best to be as accurate and as detailed as possible.

Los Angeles Marathon- Sunday- 2017. In the morning, I attended the open house of a new building my client built where our firm was the Construction Manager. I remember the celebration and the joy as this was a relatively large building built just a few miles from my home. When I got home, I was hot and felt exhausted. Sitting on the couch in the living room, I didn’t even have the energy to change out of my suit and tie and I asked my son to go get me a change of clothes. My last memory for the next six days was sitting on the couch feeling hot and out of breath.

After I woke up in the hospital, I was told that my sons who are trained in first aid, CPR, and are almost Eagle Scouts knew I was in trouble and needed urgent medical assistance. They said I got sick to my stomach and I told them that I would not let them call 911. Instead, they told me that I thought I was having an asthma attack and I suggested that they get our neighbor, who is a trained first responder to drive me to Dr. Ben Zur because he was open on Sundays. I DON’T REMEMBER LEAVING MY HOME AND GETTING IN THE CAR. As we were driving and speaking with Ramiro navigating to Dr. Ben Zur’s office, I am told I developed severe chest pain and then slumped over. My son knew he needed to keep my airway open and grabbed my head from behind so I could breathe. My neighbor told Ramiro that I was nearby Sherman Oaks Hospital in Sherman Oaks, CA. and that he was taking me there because he didn’t think I would survive the drive through heavy traffic to Dr. Ben Zur’s office. By the time I was at the hospital parking lot I had gone into cardiac arrest, my heart stopped and I understand I took my last breath of oxygen for probably at least 5 minutes. Worse, I was told by an LA County Deputy Sherriff that it is very important if you have an emergency because it significantly delays the Emergency Room’s response to starting the necessary treatment.

Because my treatment was somewhat delayed, the ER (emergency room) staff had to perform CPR on me for between 30 and 40 minutes. Thank G-d, after the third and final electric shock, I was revived from death.

My wife immediately notified Dr. Ben Zur’s office which was about 6 miles away in Tarzana, CA. Because it was a Sunday and probably because it was the marathon day, all the streets and the freeways were virtual parking lots. Cars were standing still in all directions. This was especially the case for Ventura Boulevard and the Ventura Freeway which are the only ways to rapidly get from Tarzana to Sherman Oaks. Suddenly, Dr. Ben-Zur appeared in the Sherman Oaks emergency room and took control of the situation. My wife was astonished because she knew that they had just spoken with Dr. Ben-Zur by phone and he was in his Tarzana office. One of the nurses looked at Dr. Ben-Zur and said “you must have superpowers” I just spoke with you and you were in Tarzana. But, I know how he did it, his genuine care and love for his patients provides him with unique abilities. That is the secret superpower that God has bestowed upon Dr. Ben-Zur.

When Dr. Ben-Zur arrived I was in cardiac shock with a very poor blood pressure and I was on a respiratory machine. The staff of the hospital informed my family that my chances of survival were dismal. Apparently, Sherman Oaks Hospital does not have the ability to operate on my condition. Thank G-d, Dr. Ben-Zur ordered an ambulance to Sherman Oaks Hospital while he was driving. The ambulance immediately came to where I was located and transported me to Tarzana Hospital. Dr. Ben-Zur also asked the great one, Ramiro, (SM) to call ahead of time to Tarzana Hospital. The entire Tarzana Hospital ER and operating room staff were all there waiting for the ambulance to arrive. One of the ER doctors commented that for the past 20 years Dr. Ben-Zur has always arrived before the ambulances. “Every second counts,” said Dr. Ben-Zur, the difference between life and death may be a matter of only a few minutes. One of the ambulance crew members said to Dr. Ben-Zur “I know you left after us, I saw you! How is it possible that you got here before us?” Apparently, caring gives you higher powers than the wailing sirens of the Los Angeles Fire Department. Now every time I hear sirens I think of Dr. Ben-Zur and where he might be. Perhaps he’s flying overhead?

I subsequently made a full recovery and I am back with my family, my wife and three children. My daughter Shira does not allow people to refer to Dr. Ben-Zur as Dr. Ben-Zur. She insists that we all call him Abba’s Dr. Ben-Zur and all of us occasionally call him Rabbi Ben Zur as a measure of added respect. Whenever she sees Dr. Ben-Zur she runs over to give him a deep hug. She too has become a vegetarian (at 14 years old) and my 15 and 17-year-old sons now are more conscious of our family history and try to exercise more and more.

When I come to the office I’m greeted by an incredible staff. People who go above and beyond to love and respect each and every one of their patients. What an incredibly loving atmosphere. A team that saves lives for a living and cares and truly cares about each and every individual person. When I tell you that I love going to the office, I know you’ll think I’m crazy, but it’s the truth. My doctor and his staff are special. Please, If you see Dr. Ben-Zur or any of his staff members, please give them a big hug. Tell them Leibel sends his love and gratitude for keeping his family together.

The purpose of this letter is to help save lives. You need to understand how lucky I was that I was a patient of Dr. Ben Zurs and the Cardiac Institute. Once I woke up six days later, I had several doctors and nurses at the Tarzana Hospital coming in to see me and they called me a miracle. I thought they were being kind and encouraging me to help. The truth is that a very close friend of mine is a cardiac care specialist who has won fellowships and publishes and delivers papers at prestigious cardiac conferences. He explained to me three months after my heart attack just how lucky I was to have Dr. Ben Zur provide the care he did when I needed it. My friend explained that because I went so long without oxygen from not breathing and because it took precious moments to start CPR which lasted so long, the statistics of my survival, particularly that I, thank G-d, didn’t have any loss of mental capacity nor physical complications were probably 1 in 1 million. Yes – I am a miracle. What that means is that there are 999,999 others most-likely that given the same situation would be dead or a vegetable.

So what do you do? Please, I beg of you do the following:

1.Go to Dr. Ben Zur for a check-up.
2.Start a vegetarian diet. Get your family, including your children to start eating properly, especially if you have a family history of cardiac disease.
3.Exercise. It is the summer now and my wife and I walk laps at the mall. It is air conditioned with flat surfaces and there are bathrooms and chairs available to sit down if you need them.
4.Take your blood pressure and start a record of your daily BP, weight, medications, and exercise so you and Dr. Ben Zur can see how you are doing over time.
5.Realize that while your work is important, your family is more important. I wore my strong work ethic like a badge of honor. I used to be so proud that I was one of the first in the office in the morning and always the last to leave Working 60 or more hours on a salaried job where you are not paid a dollar more over 40 hours indicates you have your priorities wrong.
6.Take vacations. Give your family the memories they can share with their children and grandchildren.
7.Sleep. Again, I used to be so proud of myself that I was able to work an extremely long day on four hours of sleep. Lack of sleep plays a major role in weight gain, stress, and heart disease. To quote Forrest Gump, “Stupid is as stupid does.”
8.Love yourself. Dr. Ben Zur almost always greets you with a hug because he knows that in today’s high energy environment, we rarely take care of ourselves. When Dr. Ben Zur hugs me, it brings me back to a reality that I too have to hug myself. I have to love myself because I deserve to be loved.
9. Finally, if you ever find yourself in a situation where you MIGHT need emergency medical attention, call 9-1-1 immediately. I was the 1 in a million chance that survived cardiac arrest after waiting far too long to get treatment and you and your family will have a much higher rate of survival if you go into the emergency room from an ambulance than if you drive in yourself.
10.Have your family and friends learn CPR and the signs of cardiac arrest and stroke. Seconds mean lives.

Thank G-d I don’t have any recollection of the physical pain associated with my heart attack. Having said that, however, knowing that I cause my wife and children such pain hearing I may die and seeing me on life support is horrible. I live with this guilt every day. But I use this guilt as the motivation to exercise more, eat a vegetarian diet, and walk away from stress at work and home. I want to become their role model of healthy living. That is the only way I can bear the guilt of having given them such a scare.

Thank you very much for reading my letter. I would be glad to further discuss my near-death experience, as well as how I am making the necessary changes in my life to beat heart disease. I suggest you reach out to Dr. Ben Zur and Ramiro to get a hold of me.

Wishing you the good health.

Leibel Winegard.













This is our story about when my husband had his heart attack. My husband developed chest pain. We went to the local emergency room, where a doctor told me my husband was having a major heart attack. A cardiologist had been called. Fear and panic overwhelmed me. My husband was 47 years old at the time. We have three children. Thoughts began taking root in my head: What will happen to him, my life-long friend? What will be with our children? Amazingly within minutes, a tall gentleman arrived. He said, “Hi my name is Dr. Ben-Zur, and I’ll be taking care of your husband.” He was obviously hurried and intensely focused on the problem, but his gentle eyes were calming. Within seconds I felt at ease. It was if an older brother had come to save us while we were drowning.

Almost immediately Dr. Ben-Zur rushed my husband to the operating room. This was at about 1:30 AM. At about 4:30 AM Dr. Ben-Zur emerged and came out to the waiting area. He had a glowing look, a big smile, and two thumbs up. His clothing was wet from perspiration. It was obvious that he had worked very hard. My husband was fine and he Would be going home in a few days, he said. My husband was then seen in. Dr. Ben-Zur’s office over the next several months. Dr. Ben-Zur and his amazing staff completely changed our lifestyle. My husband is now eating healthy food and is in the best shape he has been in a very long time.

After meeting with many of Dr. Ben-Zur’s patients, I realized that our story was not unique. Hundreds of them have similar stories. Dr. Ben-Zur has been a tremendous addition to our lives. My youngest son said it best: “Our doctor is special.” Even though I’m busy with my husband and raising three children, I take two cups of green juice to Dr. Ben-Zur every morning. (I worry that he does not always eat on time.)

My name is Azita and I look forward to meeting you at Dr. Ben-Zur’s office some day.

















My sister is a physician who worked with Dr. Ben-Zur, back when she was a medical student. Our family is well acquainted with Dr. Ben-Zur and his office staff. We have the highest regard for everyone there. I always thought that I was taking care of my health; being that I have been eating properly and exercising daily. On June 26th, 2017 I had a stress test at Dr. Ben-Zur’s office. This was the first stress test I’d ever undergone. I questioned whether I really needed it, but for the two weeks prior I was having chest pain. A lot of the features of the chest pain I was having were not typical for heart disease. During the stress test, however, I developed severe problems – my artery closed off. Within seconds, Dr. Ben-Zur and the entire team at the Cardiovascular Institute were activated. Within minutes I was at the hospital and less than 20 minutes later my arteries were open. It turned out that two of my main arteries were severely diseased. I truly believe that Dr. Ben-Zur and his staff saved my life that day. They not only saved my life, but they did so in the most rapid fashion. I was top priority and they stopped everything and focused only on helping me. It seemed like everybody knew who to call and how to get things done. It was as if a tornado was set off, but one which was carefully orchestrated and precisely choreographed. The doctors and nurses at the hospital were already waiting for me upon my arrival. How Dr. Ben-Zur arrived at the hospital before the ambulance is still beyond me. The Cardiovascular Institute is a great place for medical care. Many years ago I lost my father to heart disease. He was approximately the same age I am today. I will, hopefully, get to see my children grow and develop – something my father was not as fortunate to have.

Andre Shamalian

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