Research in cardiovascular medicine at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) Heart & Vascular Center is marked by a history of medical firsts, including the first direct current cardioversion for atrial fibrillation, the first use of anti-arrhythmic medication following myocardial infarction and New England’s first fully-implantable hemodynamic monitor. With over 150 cardiovascular clinical research studies being conducted at any one time, there are opportunities for patients to participate in studies that may change cardiovascular care for millions.
Clinical trials at BWH have demonstrated that:
Thrombolytic therapy (clot-busting medication) improves a patient's chance of survival post-heart attack
Aspirin is a first-line defense against heart attack in people at risk
Cholesterol-lowering drugs can be life-savers in patients following a first heart attack
Recently, researchers from BWH and Columbia University developed a microscopic medicine that could be used to help prevent heart attacks caused by atherosclerosis. Investigators at BWH have also just proven that renal denervation, a procedure common in 80 countries but experimental in the United States, is not effective in treating resistant hypertension.
Our scientists have identified the genes responsible for a variety of cardiac diseases, including hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, Holt-Oram syndrome and different forms of heart failure. They have also made significant progress towards the understanding of coronary and vascular disease, endothelial function, cardiac mechanics and heart failure.