Three clinical studies featuring cardiac research conducted at Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute made the American Heart Association’s recently published 2012 list of top 10 scientific advances in heart disease and stroke.
“We are delighted that our research program has been recognized by the AHA for leading these groundbreaking studies that will have a profound impact on the practice of medicine,” said cardiologist David Cohen, director of research at Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute. “Research is at the core of our mission because it enables us to provide leading edge care to patients from both the Kansas City region and around the world.”
Topping the list of advances was a study examining the relationship between duration of cardiopulmonary resuscitation and the likelihood of survival from cardiac arrest. Studies led by Saint Luke’s cardiologist and outcomes researcher, Paul Chan, along with colleagues from the University of Michigan, showed that hospitals using the Get with the Guidelines-Resuscitation quality improvement program experienced higher survival rates for cardiac arrest patients who received CPR for a longer amount of time, without decreased neurological function. This study’s unique findings raise critical questions about resuscitation duration and have the potential to change medical practice.
Another Top-10 advance was a large-scale clinical trial funded by the National Institutes of Health that compared bypass surgery with drug-coated stents for patients with diabetes. The FREEDOM study found patients with diabetes who had multiple clogged heart arteries fared significantly better when treated with bypass surgery vs. drug-coated stents. The study suggests that bypass surgery should be considered an important treatment option for such patients. Cohen and Elizabeth Magnuson, director of the Health Economics and Technology Assessment research group at Saint Luke’s, were among the trial study’s authors.
The third major advance was based on a series of studies examining the connection between the sympathetic nervous system and high blood pressure (hypertension).
These studies found that renal denervation – a minimally invasive procedure that reduces the functional connection between the sympathetic nervous system and the kidneys – is safe and effective at lowering high blood pressure resistant to other treatments. Surgery is not required; instead, a catheter delivers small bursts of radiofrequency energy to ablate, or reduce, part of the sympathetic nervous system’s connection to the kidneys. This treatment, currently under investigation as part of the SYMPLICITY-HTN 3 trial, is available in the Kansas City area only through Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute, led by interventional cardiologists, Steven Marso and Steven Laster.
For more information about the AHA list, visit article http://newsroom.heart.org/pr-