Research & Clinical Trials

Emory is leading the way in transplant immunology research, investigating groundbreaking strategies to stop the rejection of transplanted organs. This invaluable research is directed to help patients minimize the toxic side effects of daily immunosuppressant medications and achieve permanent, long-term acceptance of donor organs.

Emory's heart failure program has been a national leader in providing therapies that improve heart failure and prevent transplant. A recently approved three-lead pacemaker has improved the lives of patients with heart failure. Emory leads the nation in investigational trials for this device. So far, this therapy has benefited more than 500 patients referred to Emory.

HF ACTION

Purpose: This study is a multi-center NIH trial to determine if exercise training is beneficial for heart failure patients. The study consists of two treatment groups that are the Usual Care Group and the Exercise Training Group. Patients in the exercise-training group attend 36 sessions of cardiac rehabilitation and then continue treadmill training at home. Costs including the treadmill machine are paid by the study. Current rehabilitation sites include The Blomeyer Fitness Center at The Emory Clinic, Fitness Forum Department at Newton General hospital, Rockdale Medical Center Cardiac Rehabilitation Center, Wellstar Kennestone Cardiac Rehabilitation Center, and the Georgia Heart Clinic Cardiac Rehabilitation Center. Some of the criteria for inclusion in this study are as follows: LVEF< 35%; NYHA Class II, III or IV; and optimal heart failure therapy.

A HEFT (BiDil vs. Placebo)

BiDil is a vasodilator combination consisting of hydralazine plus isosorbide dinitrate. In a previous study (V-HEFT), the free combination of these drugs has been shown to improve survival and symptoms of patients with heart failure. Data from this suggests that African American patients may particularly benefit from this therapy.

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to demonstrate safety and efficacy of BiDil vs. placebo in African American patients with moderate to severe symptomatic heart failure receiving standard treatment. Some of the inclusion criteria are as follows: African American ethnicity: LVEF < 35%; and NYHA Class III or IV. Standard therapy with ACE inhibitors and beta-blockers is given to all patients.

COMPASS

This study is sponsored by Medtronic, Inc., and involves the use of the Chronicle device that is an implanted homodynamic monitor. The device looks like a pacemaker with a lead that goes in the RV septum near outflow tract. This device estimates pulmonary artery systolic and diastolic pressures based on right ventricular pressure and electrical timing. The patient will download information from the device twice weekly. The information will be assessed and used to advise the patient regarding diuretic and medication management. The pilot of this study suggested significant decrease in the number of patient hospitalizations. This trial is randomized, that is, in ½ patients the data will not be seen during first 6 months but will be available after that date. Some of the inclusion criteria for this study are as follows: NYHA Class III-IV, hospital admission in past 6 months and LVEF within any range.

ADVANCENT REGISTRY (GUIDANT)

This is a registry which includes chronic congestive heart failure patients who have a LVEF < 40% and are being medically managed long term. After the initial patient interview for data collection, all follow-up interviews will be by phone. The plan is to enroll 1500 patients from Emory University Hospital and Emory University Hospital Midtown.

If you are interested in learning more about these or other Emory Transplant Center Clinical Research projects, please call the ETC Clinical Research Program at 404-712-1114 to speak with one of our research coordinators.

Emory Transplant Center