James L. Vacek, MD

Professor of Medicine - Cardiology
Medical School, Creighton University School of Medicine, Omaha NE
Residency, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis MO
Fellowship, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis MO


Clinical Interests

  • Cardiac Prevention and Wellness
  • Cardiac CT Angiography
  • Nuclear Cardiology
  • Consultative Cardiology
  • Echocardiography
  • Peripheral Vascular Disease
  • Clinical Cardiovascular Epidemiology and Research
  • Coronary Artery Disease Risk Factors and Public Education

Research Interests

  • Cardiac Prevention and Wellness
  • Information Technology Application
  • Coronary Artery Disease Risk Factor Modification
  • Clinical Cardiovascular Epidemiology
  • Nuclear Cardiology
  • Consultative Cardiology
  • Echocardiography
  • Cardiac Arrhythmias
  • Congestive Heart Failure
  • Peripheral Vascular Disease

Peer Reviewed Journal Activities

Editorial Consultant - American Journal of Cardiology, CHEST, American Heart Journal, Catheterization and Cardiovascular Diagnosis, Postgraduate Medicine, Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Heart and Lung, Southern Medical Journal

Research Projects
Active projects

  • Investigation of calcitonin analogues in rat and primate models. Sponsored by Vasogenix.
  • Investigation of diabetic rat model related to exercise modulated changes in electrocardiographic parameters as well as cardiac lymphatic presence and function. Original research project.
  • Statin influence on atrial fibrillation occurrence in post cardiac surgery patients. Original research project.
  • Study of carotid intimal medial thickness in noncaucasian population. Original research project.
  • Hypertensive medication use in the Kansas Medicaid population. Original research project.
  • Omega 3 fatty acid use and impact on cardiac outcomes derived from the CV master database. Original research project.
  • Impact of Omega-3 Fatty Acid Use on the Risk of Atrial Fibrillation in Patients with Cardiovascular Disease. Original research project.
  • Potential interaction between protein pump inhibitors and clopidogrel. Original research project.
  • Development of Visual3DxTM ischemia markers using digital ECGs obtained from patients being evaluated for acute chest pain. Sponsored by NewCardio.
  • Impact of Bisphosphonate Use on the Risk of Atrial Fibrillation in Cardiovascular Patients. Original research project.
  • Coumadin management: study of factors which promote therapeutic outcomes. Original research project.
  • Vitamin D levels and cardiovascular outcomes and mortality. Original research project.
  • Ezetimibe in Combination with a Statin Does Not Reduce All- Cause Mortality and Failure of Ezetimibe to Raise HDL in a Community Based Population. Original research project.
  • Coronary stent outcomes comparing bare metal vs drug eluting stents and the impact of statin and other lipid lowering therapy. Original research project.
  • The Impact of Amiodarone Therapy Duration on Thyroid Function. Original research project.
  • Prediction of atrial fibrillation recurrence from clinical risk factors. Original research project.
  • Survival Factors and Effect of Medications in Subjects with Diastolic Dysfunction Who Do Not Have Cardiomyopathy or Heart Failure. Original research project.
  • The Impact of Particulate Matter and Air Pollutants on Cardiovascular Events. Original research project.

Selected Publications  

  • Porter I, Vacek J. Single ventricle with persistent truncus arteriosus as two rare entities in an adult patient: a case report. J Med Case Reports. 2008 May 30;2:184.
  • Simmons A, Vacek J, Meyers D. Anthracycline induced cardiomyopathy. Postgrad Med. 120(4):67-72.
  • Porter I, Vacek J. Cardiovascular health delivery system in Belarus contrasted to the United States. Kansas J Med. 2008;2:13-18.
  • Biria M, Howard P, Vacek J.  Current Opinion Article: Do statins have a role in the management of diastolic dysfunction? Am J Cardiovasc Drugs. 2008;8:297-303.
  • Vanga S, Biria M, Berenbom L, Vacek J, Lakkireddy D. Skin burn at the site of indifferent electrode after radiofrequency catheter ablation of AV node for atrial fibrillation. Journal of Atrial Fibrillation. Online publication 7/16/08: 10.4022/jafib.v1i1.406.
  • Biria M, Batrash A, Emert M, Vacek J. Underutilization of warfarin in elderly patients with atrial fibrillation. Journal of Atrial Fibrillation. Online publication 9/23/08: 10.4022/jafib.v1i1.393.
  • Dalton K, Reeder K, Elyachar A, Staley J, Spaniol R, Ellerbeck E, Vacek J, Smith C. Screening and enrollment in clinical trials: essential relationships for success. The Monitor. August 2009, 29-33.
  • Vanga S, Vacek J, Berenbom L, Lakkireddy D. Ventricular tachycardia storm - an atypical presentation of sarcoidosis exacerbation. Indian Pacing Electrophysiol J 2009;9(6):351-354.
  • Howard PA, Vacek JL. Potential interaction between clopidogrel and proton pump inhibitors. Am J Cardiovasc Drugs. 2009;9(6):353-9.
  • Mbogori J, Vacek J. A man with a worried heart: transient left apical ballooning and rhabdomyolysis. Am J Med. 2010 Feb;123(2):e11-2.
  • Nagavalli S, Vacek JL. Approach to incidentally diagnosed isolated ventricular noncompaction of myocardium. South Med J. 2010 Jun 4 [Epub ahead of print]..
  • Solomon S, Vacek JL. Invited article: Practice Pearls. Prasugrel versus clopidogrel in patients with acute coronary syndrome. Postgrad Med. 2010 Jan;122(1):198-200.
  • Sheik A, Vacek JL. Invited Article: Moving towards the future of dyslipidemia management. South Med J. 2010 May;103(5):392-393.  
  • Vanga SR, Good M; Howard P, Vacek JL. Review: Vitamin D in Cardiovascular Health.Am J Cardiol 2010; 106: 798-805.   
  • VanHoose L, Sawers Y, Loganathan R., Vace, J., Stehno-Bittel L., Novikova L., Al-Jarrah , Smirnova I.   Electrocardiographic changes with the onset of diabetes and the impact of aerobic exercise training in the Zucker Diabetic Fatty  (ZDF) rat. Cardiovascular Diabetology. 2010: 9:56-66.
  • Howard PA, Barnes BJ, Vacek JL, Chen W, Lai SM. Impact of bisphosphonates on the risk of atrial fibrillation. Am J Cardiovasc Drugs. 2010; 10: 359-367.
  • Simmons A, Falbe J, Vacek JL. Coronary artery disease in women: a review and update. Cardiovascular Medicine. Rev Cardiovasc Med 2011; 12(2):e84-93.
  • Zimmerman SK, Vacek JL. Imaging Techniques in Acute Coronary Syndromes: A Review. IRBD Cardiology.  2011:359127. Epub 2011 Nov 17.
  • Barnes B, Solomon S, Howard P, Lakkireddy D, Kramer J, Muehlebach G, Daon E, Zorn GL,Vacek JL. Preoperative Statin Use is not Associated with a Reduced Risk of Atrial Fibrillation After Cardiac Surgery. Journal of Atrial Fibrillation. 2011,2:891-898.
  • Barnes B, Howard P, Solomon S, Chen W, Vacek JL. The Impact of Omega-3 Fatty Acid Use on the Risk of Atrial Fibrillation in Patients with Cardiovascular Disease. International J Clinical Med, 2011; 2:23-27.
  • Dodani S, Henkhaus R, Wick J, Vacek J, Gupta K, Dong L, Butler MG. Metabolic syndrome in South Asian immigrants: more than low HDL requiring aggressive management. Lipids Health Dis. 2011;10:45-54.
  • Sloan K, Vacek JL. Treatment of Dyslipidemia. J Clin Metabolism and Diabetes. 2012; 3:21-24.
  • Zimmerman SK, Vacek JL. Dyslipidemia: A review of pathophysiology and lipoprotein disorders. J Clin Metabolism and Diabetes. 2012;2:41-48.
  • Vacek JL, Vanga SR, Good M, Lai SM, Lakkiredy D, Howard P. Vitamin D Deficiency and Supplementation, And Relation to Cardiovascular Health. Am J Cardiol. 2012; 109:359-363.
  • Kramer J, Howard P, Barnes B, Ababneh A, Mukhopadhyay P,  Biria M, Muehlebach GF, Daon E, Zorn GL,  Reed WA, Vacek JL. Secondary prevention following coronary artery bypass surgery: a pilot study for improved patient education. International Journal of Clinical Medicine 2012, 3, 286-294.
  • Abu-El-Haija B, Ababneh B, Vacek JL.  Coronary Artery Calcification Score and Computed Tomographic Coronary Angiography: A Review and Update.  Open Atherosclerosis & Thrombosis Journal, 2012;5: 22-28. 
  • Patel VB, Vacek JL, Graves L, Bhattacharya RK. Calcium Effects on Vascular Endpoints.  Nutrition & Metabolism 2012, 9:24-30.
  • Wiley M, Kumar A, Vacek J. Review - Peripheral Arterial Disease. Consultant 2012; 52:601-610
  • Vacek JL, Hunt SL, Shireman T. Hypertension Medication Use and Adherence Among Adults with Developmental Disability. Disability and Health Journal. In Press 2013
  • Patel V, Bhattacharya R, Vacek JL. Calcium Effects on Vascular Endpoints (CAVE) Retrospective Cohort Trial. Open Journal of Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases 2013; 3: 75-79.
  • Patel V, Bhattacharya R, Graves L, Vacek JL. Calcium Supplementation and Cardiovascular Events. Open Journal of Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases (in press 2013)

Selected Abstracts Presented at National Meetings

  • Biria M, Pillarisetti J, Annapureddy C, Baryun E, Newton D, Kreighbaum K, Murray C, Staley J, Berenbom L, Pimentel R, Vanga S, Vacek J, Emert M, Nath J, Rosamond T, Raxwal V, Mulhern K, Gupta K, Verma A, Lakkireddy D. Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy Alters Progression of Diastolic Dysfunction. Presented at the 2008 Heart Rhythm Society Annual Meeting, May 14-17 2008, San Francisco California.
  • Nath J, Lakkireddy D, Mulhern K, Rosamond T, Vacek J, Wilson D. Gender and Severity of Left Atrial Enlargement Predict Long-Term Survival. Presented at the 2008 Heart Rhythm Society Annual Meeting, May 14-17 2008, San Francisco California.
  • Biria M, Pillarisetti J, Annapureddy C, Baryun E, Newton D, Kreighbaum K, Murray C, Staley J, Berenbom L, Pimentel R, Vanga S, Vacek J, Emert M, Porter C, Genton R, Nath J, Gupta K, Lakkireddy D. The Impact of Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy on Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire (KCCQ) Score in Patients with Congestive Heart Failure. Presented at the 2008 Heart Rhythm Society Annual Meeting, May 14-17 2008, San Francisco California.
  • Barnes B, Howard P, Chen W, Vacek JL. Impact of Biophosphonate Use on the Risk of Atrial Fibrillation in Patients with Cardiovascular Disease. Presented at the American Heart Association Quality of Care and Outcomes Research in Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke Conference 2008, April 30-May 2 2008, Baltimore Maryland.
  • Kumar A, Dalton K, Ellerbeck EF, Vacek J, Smith CE. Methodology of Self Management and Care of Heart Failure through group therapy trial (SMAC-HF). Presented at the American Heart Association Quality of Care and Outcomes Research in Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke Conference 2008, April 30-May 2 2008, Baltimore Maryland.
  • Raxwal V, Verma L, Lakkireddy D, Vacek J, Tadros P. Is Hyperdynamic Left Ventricular Ejection Fraction a Poor Prognostic Factor? Presented at the 57th Annual ACC Scientific Sessions, March 29-April 4 2008, Chicago Illinois.
  • Simmons A, Rosamond T, Nath J, Lakkireddy D, Wetzel L, Vacek J, Pimentel R, Emert E,  Berenbom L, Biria M. 64 slice Cardiac CTA in the Diagnosis of Left Atrial Appendage Thrombus:  Comparison to Transesophageal Echocardiography. Presented at the 14th World Congress on Heart Disease - International Academy of Cardiology Annual Scientific Sessions 2008, July 26-29 2008, Toronto Ontario, Canada.
  • Biria M, Annapureddy C, Newton D, Pillarisetti J, Baryun E, Berenbom L, Pimentel R, Vanga S, Vacek J, Emert M, Nath J, Verma A, Khaykin Y, Natale A, Murray C, Staley J, Lakkireddy D. Leukocytosis Post Atrial Fibrillation Ablation - Is There A Reason To Worry? Presented at the 14th World Congress on Heart Disease - International Academy of Cardiology Annual Scientific Sessions 2008, July 26-29 2008, Toronto Ontario, Canada.
  • Biria M, Baryun E, Vacek J, Dalton K, Earnest M, Emert M, Pimentel R, Lakkireddy D, Berenbom L. Outcomes and Cost Analysis of Transvenous vs. Prophylactic Intraoperative Implantation of CRT Leads (PROPEL study). Presented at the 14th World Congress on Heart Disease - International Academy of Cardiology Annual Scientific Sessions 2008, July 26-29 2008, Toronto Ontario, Canada.
  • Reddy N, Seim N, Pillarisetti J, Boc K, Chen W, Ryschon K, Dendi R, Berenbom L, Vacek J, Lakkireddy D. Accurate Measurement of QT Interval During Administration of QT prolonging Anti Arrhythmic Drugs: Is the tangent technique more appropriate? Presented at the 2009 Heart Rhythm Society Annual Meeting, May 13-16 2009, Boston Massachusetts.
  • Maugans C, Grier B, Humera D, Jones C, Sheldon S, Vacek J, Wiley M. Correlation of Fluctuating Ozone Levels with Hospital and Emergency Department Admissions for Chest Pain or Acute Coronary Syndromes. Presented at the 2009 Combined Annual Meeting, Central Society for Clinical Research, Midwestern Section American Federation for Medical Research, April 23-24 2009, Chicago Illinois.
  • Pillarisetti J, Patel A, Boc K, Sawers Y, Vanga S, Sayana H, Vacek J, Gupta K, Chen W, Nath J, Lakkireddy D. Evolution of Paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation to Persistent or Permanent Atrial Fibrillation: Predictors of Progression. Presented at the 2009 National Clinical and Translational Research Education Annual Meeting, April 14-15 2009, Washington DC.
  • Pillarisetti J, Lakkireddy D, Tadros P, Sayana H, Goucher H, Duthuluru S, Patel A, Biria M, Vacek J, Berenbom L, Gupta K, Nath J, Wiley M. Interventional Cardiologists and Electrophysiologists Beware! - Your Job Can Impact the Gender of Your Offspring Too! Presented at the 2009 Heart Rhythm Society Annual Meeting, May 13-16 2009, Boston Massachusetts.
  • Barnes B, Howard P, Kumar A, Gorton M, Solomon S, Kramer J, Muehlebach G, Vacek J. Preoperative statin use is not associated with a reduced risk of atrial fibrillation after cardiac surgery. Presented at the 2008 Annual Meeting of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy, October 19-22 2008, Louisville Kentucky.
  • Franano FN, Bland KS, Ding BC, Wiley M, Vacek J, Smirnov I, Henry C. PRT-101 Can Effect Positive Remodeling of the Porcine Iliac Artery. Presented at the 20th Annual Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics Symposium 2008, October 12-17 2008, Washington DC.
  • Franano FN, Bland KS, Ding BC, Wiley M, Vacek J, Smirnov I, Henry C. Prt-201 is a locally-acting recombinant human type I elastase that safely and persistently dilates segments of blood vessels in animal models and can be used as a "biological stent". Invited Oral Presentation, 20th Annual Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics Symposium 2008, October 12-17 2008, Washington DC.
  • Staley J, Dalton K, Vacek J. Anticoagulation Management: Optimizing INR Levels in a Large Cardiology Practice. Presented at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2009, November 14-18 2009, Orlando Florida.
  • Marr J, Pillarisetti J, Lai SM, Chen W, Vacek JL. Ezetimibe in Combination with a Statin Does Not Reduce All-Cause Mortality. Presented at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2009, November 14-18 2009, Orlando Florida.
  • Biria M, Vanga S, Lakkireddy D, Howard PA, Vacek JL. Predictive Factors for Survival in Patients with Diastolic Dysfunction of Varying Severity Who Do Not have Systolic Dysfunction or Symptoms of Heart Failure. Presented at the 59th Annual ACC Scientific Sessions 2010, March 14-16 2010, Atlanta Georgia.
  • Vanga S, Pillarisetti J, Guda R, Feldkamp M, Rosamond T, Vacek JL, Dawn B, Lakkireddy D. Left Atrial Appendage Far Field Potentials Mimicking Left Superior Pulmonary Vein Potentials After Pulmonary Vein Isolation: Does Proximity Matter? Presented at the 59th Annual ACC Scientific Sessions 2010, March 14-16 2010, Atlanta Georgia.
  • Pillarisetti J, Biria M, Emert M, Chotia R, Guda R, Vacek J, Dendi R, Pimentel R, Berenbom L, Lakkireddy D. Reasons for Under-Utilization of Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators in Patients with Heart Failure. Presented at the Heart Rhythm Society Annual Sessions 2010, May 12-15 2010, Denver Colorado.
  • Pillarisetti J, Guda R, Falbe J, Muehlebach G, Vacek J, Lakkireddy D. Long term Incidence of Denovo Atrial Fibrillation in Patients after Open Heart Surgery. Presented at the Heart Rhythm Society Annual Sessions 2010, May 12-15 2010, Denver Colorado.
  • Biria M, Pillarisetti J, Reddy N, Murray C, Patel P, Vanga S, Dendi R, Pimentel R, Emert M, Berenbom L, Vacek J, Lakkireddy D. Elevated Beta Natriuretic Peptide Levels in Patients with Atrial Fibrillation: Is it a Predictor of Successful Ablation or a Mere Function of Point in Time Atrial Rhythm? Presented at the Heart Rhythm Society Annual Sessions 2010, May 12-15 2010, Denver Colorado.
  • Pillarisetti J, Guda R, Emert M, Biria M, Dalton K, Vacek J, Lakkireddy D. Left Ventricular Function in Patients with Cardiomyopathy: Predictors of Long Term Improvement. Presented at the AHA Quality of Care and Outcomes Research in Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke Conference 2010, May 19-21 2010, Washington DC.
  • VanHoose LD, Novikova L, Loganathan R, Sawers Y, Vacek J, Stehno-Bittel L, Smirnova IV. The Impact of Diabetes on Cardiac Lymphatic Biomarkers and the Protective Role of Exercise Training. 2010 NLN Conference, Lymphedema: Breaking through the Barriers, September 22-26, 2010, Orlando, Florida.
  • Shireman TI, Hunt SL, Vacek JL. Hypertension in a Developmentally Disabled Population: Medication Use and Adherence Patterns. American Heart Association Annual Scientific Sessions 2010, Chicago, Il.
  • Vanga SR, Good MB, Lakkireddy D, Howard PA, Vacek JL. Vitamin D Deficiency and Supplementation: Impact on Cardiovascular Morbidity and Overall Mortality. American Heart Association Annual Scientific Sessions 2010, Chicago, Il.
  • Sheikh A, Vacek JL, Southard J, Walsten PG, Speece T, Koehler K, Schmitt G, Fisher M, Southard L. Synthetic Human Calcitonin Gene Related Peptide in Heart Failure. Heart Failure Society of America Annual Sessions  September 12-15,2010, San Diego, Ca.
  • Smirnova IV, Van Hoose LD, Loganathan R, Novikova L, Stehno-Bittel L, Vacek JL, Patel PM, Al-Jarrah MD. Aerobic Exercise Restores Most of the Left Ventricular Hemodynamic Parameters in Zucker Diabetic Fatty Rats, a Model of Type 2 Diabetes. 2nd World Congress on Diabetes and Metabolism, December 6-8, 2011, Philadelphia, PA. The Journal of Diabetes and Metabolism, 2011:2;55.
  • Chehab B, Jeevanantham V, Saad A, Vacek J, Gupta K, Dawn B, Tadros P, Wiley M. Feasibility, Safety, and Outcomes with a Coronary Pressure Wire System used for the Assessment of Severe Aortic Stenosis. Presented at the American College of Cardiology Annual Scientific Sessions 2012. Chicago, Il.
  • Chehab BM, Jeevanantham V, Saad A, Butler M, Vacek J, Rosamond T, Gupta K, Dawn B, Tadros P, Wiley M. Normal Coronary Anatomic Variants Influence False Positive Results of Myocardial Perfusion Imaging. Presented at the Society For Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions Annual Scientific Sessions 2012, May 9 - 12, 2012; Las Vegas, Nevada.
  • Patel V, Graves L, Vacek J, Bhattacharya RK. Calcium Supplementation and Cardiovascular Events. The American Society of Bone and Mineral Research Annual Sessions. October 12-15, 2012, Minneapolis, MN. Chosen for ASBMR Young Investigator Award.
  • Coyan G, Reeder KM, Vacek JL. Long-term diet and exercise outcomes after coronary artery bypass surgery: a review of recent literature. Translational Science 2013. Washington DC. April 17-19, 2013
  • Afzal, MR, Maybrook RJ, Rankin A, Russell C, Dawn B, Vacek JL. Development of a Comprehensive Heart Failure Management Team and its Impact in Improving Compliance with Standard of Care: Insight from the Get with the Guidelines Database. American College of Cardiology 62nd Annual Scientific Session, March 9 -11, 2013, San Francisco CA.
  • Maybrook, RF, Afzal MR, Rankin A, Russell C, Vacek J. Use of Aldosterone Antagonists at Discharge in Eligible Heart Failure Patients With a Comprehensive Heart Failure Program: Trends in Compliance With Get With the Guidelines-Heart Failure. The American Heart Association Quality of Care and Outcomes Research 2013 Scientific Sessions, Baltimore Maryland, May 15-17, 2013.
  • Parashar S, Hui A, Vacek JL, Simmons A. Personal and Community Barriers to a Heart-healthy Lifestyle in Women. The American Heart Association Quality of Care and Outcomes Research 2013 Scientific Sessions, Baltimore Maryland, May 15-17, 2013
  • Parashar S, Vacek JL, Simmons A. Behavioral Change after Heart Disease Risk Assessment in Women.  The American Heart Association Quality of Care and Outcomes Research 2013 Scientific Sessions, Baltimore Maryland, May 15-17, 2013
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Last modified: Mar 28, 2013

James L. Vacek, MD

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James L. Vacek, MD
Professor of Medicine - Cardiology

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