A Brazilian’s Theory on Heart Disease Gets Some Respect in the US

Considered fascinating by many physicians and scientists, the myogenic theory of myocardial infarction, developed in 1972 by a Brazilian doctor and scientist, is still hidden from the general public.

The reason why this is happening may be the challenge it represents to the strong interests of the medical establishment that have invested many years in the coronary thrombosis idea.

In fact this theory and its compatible and simple therapeutic alternative poses a threat to the "status quo" with the risk of turn the things upside down in science and treatment of coronary heart disease.

The myogenic theory was developed by Quintiliano H. de Mesquita, a cardiologist and scientist from Brazil, deceased in October 2000.

Dr. Mesquita has made around 30 pioneer contributions to medical science. For instance, he participated in 1954 of the idea leading to the first aneurysmectomy – ventricular aneurysm surgery after myocardial infarction – performed by Charles Bailey, in his patient, at the Hannemann Hospital in Philadelphia.

Some years later (1958) he did the first diagnosis in vivo, by the electrocardiogram, of the infarction of right ventricle.

The new theory is based in a complex biological mechanism where physical and psycho-emotional stresses are important players in triggering the acute myocardial infarction, through the weakening of an area of the heart muscle.

The therapeutics under the myogenic theory etiology are secular drugs known as cardiac glycosides (digitalis, strophanthin, etc), that should be in use for prevention or in treatment of acute coronary syndromes.

Supported by Infarct Combat Project the myogenic theory opposes the classic postulation of the thrombogenic theory developed in the beginning of the last century by James Bryan Herrick. In thrombogenic theory the myocardial infarction is due to the occurrence of thrombosis in the coronary artery.

Most therapeutics in use are based in the thrombogenic etiology, like anticoagulants, antiplatelets, thrombolytics, cholesterol lowering drugs, etc, and invasive procedures like coronary bypass surgery, angioplasty and stents.

Carlos Monteiro, an independent researcher and president of Infarct Combat Project, says the many flaws existing in the original thrombogenic theory etiology led to amendments on it.

He also states that almost all medical solutions offered today through drugs or surgeries, in this sense, are palliative measures, i. e., without curing or reducing significantly, in absolute terms, the mortality from coronary heart disease. This is confirmed by many studies.

According to Monteiro’s view there are other heart disease theories loosing energy, as demonstrated very recently with the failure of antibiotics in secondary prevention of coronary events and that supplements combining folic acid and vitamins B6 and B12 for homocysteine lowering did not reduce the risk of major cardiovascular events in patients with vascular disease.

Dr. Thomas Cowan, a well-know physician, writer and lecturer, from San Francisco, CA, knowing about the myogenic theory, invited Carlos Monteiro to write a report on Dr. Mesquita’s decades-long studies. The article was published in Fourfold Healing Newsletter of November/December 2005, with an introduction by Dr. Cowan discussing this new explanation for heart disease.

In his report Carlos Monteiro showed the large success and efficacy with low mortality and morbidity got by Dr. Mesquita and his team using digitalis and other cardiac glycosides in prevention or in treatment of acute coronary syndromes, in many cardiac patients, during almost 30 years.

Last month, in a conference in Vancouver, CA, Dr. Cowan talked about the myths and mysteries of the heart. To know his agenda with next workshops and lectures see at http://www.fourfoldhealing.com/

The Infarct Combat Project is an international non-profit organization that provides information, research and education to fight heart disease.


1. Quintiliano H. de Mesquita: Short biography at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quintiliano_H._de_Mesquita; Memorial at http://www.infarctcombat.org/qhm/homepage.html

2. Myogenic Theory of Myocardial Infarction, Book, 1979 — summary in English at http://www.infarctcombat.org/LivroTMparte8.htm

3. Myogenic Theory Explains!" – The thrombogenic theory of myocardial infarction tumbled down and the orthodoxy didn’t have noticed", Quintiliano H. de Mesquita, 1999 http://www.infarctcombat.org/MyogenicTheoryExplains.html

4. Ultrasound imaging versus morphopathology in cardiovascular diseases. Coronary atherosclerotic plaque, Giorgio Baroldi, Riccardo Bigi and Lauro Cortigiani, Cardiovascular Ultrasound 2004, 2:29 http://www.cardiovascularultrasound.com/content/2/1/29

5. Ultrasound imaging versus morphopathology in cardiovascular diseases. Coronary collateral circulation and atherosclerotic plaque, Giorgio Baroldi, Riccardo Bigi and Lauro Cortigiani, Cardiovascular Ultrasound 2005, 3:6 http://www.cardiovascularultrasound.com/content/3/1/26

6. Ultrasound imaging versus morphopathology in cardiovascular diseases. Myocardial cell damage, Giorgio Baroldi, Riccardo Bigi and Lauro Cortigiani, Cardiovascular Ultrasound 2005, 3:32 http://www.cardiovascularultrasound.com/content/3/1/32

7. Plaque instability frequently occurs days or weeks before occlusive coronary thrombosis. A pathological thrombectomy study in primary percutaneous coronary intervention, Saskia Z. H. Rittersma et al. Circulation. 2005 Mar 8;111(9):1160-5. http://circ.ahajournals.org/cgi/content/full/111/9/1160

8. Pathophysiological processes underlying emotional triggering of acute cardiac events, Phillip C Strike, Andrew Steptoe et al. PNAS, March 14 2006, http://www.pnas.org/cgi/reprint/0507097103v1/

9. From Vulnerable plaque to vulnerable patient – A call for definitions and risk assessment strategies: Part I, Morteza Naghavi et al. Circulation 2003;108:1664

10. From Vulnerable plaque to vulnerable patient – A call for definitions and risk assessment strategies: Part II, Morteza Naghavi et al. Circulation 2003;108:1772

11. Infection, antibiotics and atherothrombosis: end of the road or new beginnings? Anderson JL, N Eng J Med 2005;352:1706-1709

12. Effects of antibiotic therapy on outcomes of patients with coronary artery disease. Andraws R et al, JAMA 2005;293:2641-2647

13. Homocysteine Lowering with Folic Acid and B Vitamins in Vascular Disease. The Heart Outcomes Prevention Evaluation (HOPE) 2 Investigators, N Engl J Med 2006;354: March, 12.

14. Homocysteine Lowering and Cardiovascular Events after Acute Myocardial Infarction. Bønaa KH et al for the NORVIT Trial investigators, N Engl J Med 2006;354: March, 12.

15. "Two Heart Disease Theories, Same Therapeutic Treatment" article by Carlos Monteiro with comments by Dr. Thomas Cowan, Fourfold Healing Newsletter of November/December/05 http://www.fourfoldhealing.com/NL%20NovDec%202005.htm and bibliography at http://www.infarctcombat.org/FH2005-ref.html


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