EME programme funds new cardiac study
01 July 2011
A new study in the area of cardiovascular research will compare the administration of adenosine with sodium nitroprusside for the prevention of microvascular obstruction - blockages in arteries and blood vessels. The grant has been awarded by the EME programme which is funded by the MRC and managed by the NIHR.
Coronary heart disease (CHD) kills more than 70,000 people and 110,000 people have a heart attack in England every year. Heart attacks are increasingly treated with balloons and stents (angioplasty) to open large arteries blocked by blood clots. Despite removing the blockage, blood flow to the heart muscle may not be fully restored due to poor flow in the small blood vessels of the heart.
Lead Professor Anthony Gershlick of the University of Leicester commented, “Currently, heart specialists do not know how best to limit small vessel obstruction, when occurs it can be associated with higher rates of repeat heart attacks, heart failure and death. Strategies to improve blood flow to the heart following angioplasty for heart attacks are very important to reduce death and long term complications.”
The team will administer adenosine and sodium nitroprusside via a microcatheter at the time of an angioplasty on patients who have suffered a severe heart attack. They will look to see if there is a difference between the two drugs in reducing microvascular obstruction (MVO) and the amount of tissue that dies due to a lack of oxygen.
The study will involve two hundred patients who will be allocated randomly to one of three groups to either receive standard angioplasty (to serve as control group), or standard therapy with either one of the study's two drugs. A quantitative blush evaluator (QuBE) and other perfusion markers with cardiac magnetic resonance imaging will be used to see inside the heart and blood vessels to assess the restoration of blood flow.
“Heart attacks must be treated very quickly to limit the amount of heart muscle that is damaged, so patients will be given a short information sheet and asked to give written assent before being randomly allocated to one of the treatment arms in the study,” added Professor Gershlick.
The research will take place at two major hospitals in the UK: Glenfield Hospital, Leicester and Leeds General Infirmary.
This study is due to publish in 2013. View project details.