Assessing the safety and effectiveness of drugs post-approval is important for patient safety and managing health care resources. A Heart Institute–led group is lending its expertise in support of this effort.
The Heart Institute’s new Chief of Cardiac Surgery, Dr. Marc Ruel, discusses the importance of research and innovation, his vision for surgery at the Heart Institute and the future of cardiac surgery as a discipline.
The Heart Institute’s landmark RAFT trial, released in 2010, showed that cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) in combination with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) device reduces the risk death by 24 per cent in patients with mild to moderate heart failure. Two new studies mined that data further.
Successfully managing heart failure is one the looming issues for cardiovascular medicine, with prevalence expected to grow significantly over the coming decades. The plenary session “Engineering Success in Heart Failure” looked at where things are headed, from therapy to devices to delivery of care.
Now that we know that the heart does regenerate, albeit slowly—nine to 10 times in a lifetime—various types of stem cells offer intriguing possibilities for the treatment of heart failure. For recent developments, see “Stem Cells for Cardiac Repair” within our AHA coverage.
Some of the biggest news to come out of AHA this year was the results from preliminary clinical trials of two new LDL cholesterol-lowering drugs that show a substantial decrease in LDL levels well below the reductions seen with statins or ezetimibe alone.
The new drugs belong to a class called PCSK9 inhibitors, which increase the liver’s ability to clear LDL cholesterol (LDL-C) from the bloodstream by binding to and blocking the protein PCSK9 that interferes with this clearance process.
Within 30 days of non-cardiac surgery, one in 10 patients will have a major vascular complication. In the CCC State-of-the-Art lecture, Dr. PJ Devereux of McMaster University brought to the fore work being done to reduce myocardial injury after non-cardiac surgery (MINS).
Patients placed on a heart-lung machine for heart surgery have a high incidence of neurocognitive deficits, including memory loss, attention deficits and decline in motor skills. New data from Heart Institute investigators provide some reassurance, though, that many of these deficits resolve over time, and even patients with residual deficits report a better quality of life than before surgery.