Topic: Steven Nissen

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Steven E. Nissen (born 1949), a cardiologist, is chairman of cardiovascular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic. Nissen received his B.S. and his M.D. from University of Michigan. He completed his cardiovascular training at the University of Kentucky.

Nissen first gained prominence in 1987 when he developed techniques to thread miniaturized ultrasound imaging devices into a patient's heart to reveal the exact composition of plaques causing the early stages of artery damage; the technique is now called intravascular ultrasound (IVUS). This allowed much easier evaluation of anticholesterol medications.

His efforts in 2004 linked COX-2 inhibitors such as celecoxib (Celebrex) and Merck's rofecoxib (Vioxx) with heart attacks, and prevented Merck's similar product, etoricoxib, from being approved. In 2005, his analysis of the experimental diabetes drug muraglitazar, from Bristol-Myers Squibb, exposed its adverse cardiac risk profile, leading to withdrawal of the drug despite initial strong approval from a Food and Drug Administration advisory panel.

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