Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Heart Disease Health Center

Font Size

Spinning Needle Touted as Treatment for Severe Angina


Shawl says Ridgeway's internal heart pressure has been reduced, and the pumping function of his heart has also improved.

Shawl has done nine of the procedures on patients in India since last August, and he says they are all doing well. One of the big advantages of the catheter, says Shawl, is that it allows the physician to withdraw tissue that can be used for a biopsy. That, he says, may help show what actually causes the improved functioning of the heart.

Alan Wasserman, MD, tells WebMD that even though these procedures do give patients short-term relief, more study is needed. "Anything that relieves pain, especially something like this that is relatively safe and relatively easy to perform, is a good start," says Wasserman, chairman of medicine at George Washington University Hospital in Washington, D.C.

The device is manufactured by AngioTrax Inc. of Sunnyvale, Calif., a company in which Shawl holds stock.

Vital Information:

  • For the past 10 years, physicians have been treating patients with severe angina by burning holes into the heart with a laser.
  • In a new, similar procedure, physicians are using a tiny, spinning needle to drill holes into the heart.
  • It is unknown why these techniques appear to work, but researchers hypothesize that the tiny holes enhance blood flow to the heart.
1 | 2

Today on WebMD

x-ray of human heart
A visual guide.
atrial fibrillation
Symptoms and causes.
heart rate graph
10 things to never do.
heart rate
Get the facts.
empty football helmet
red wine
eating blueberries
Simple Steps to Lower Cholesterol
Inside A Heart Attack
Omega 3 Sources
Salt Shockers
lowering blood pressure