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Clinical Trials & Research

Research Spotlight

Montefiore is the University Hospital for Albert Einstein College of Medicine. This unique partnership brings together expertise across disciplines and yields an extensive portfolio of biomedical research, with an emphasis on translating basic science in the lab to pioneering treatments and therapies. Montefiore physicians are discovering novel solutions that advance the future of healthcare and treatments:

Improving Cardiovascular Disease Outcomes

Robert E. Michler, MDAtrial fibrillation (AF) is a condition that produces rapid and irregular heartbeats, and increases the risk for stroke and death. Treatments for AF include medical therapy, cardiac catheterization ablation or surgery.  While both can cure AF, ablation and surgery scar areas of heart tissue. Scarring—intended to take the bad circuitry out of the equation—is thought to be incidental to its effectiveness. Indeed, many patients in need of heart valve surgery may benefit from an AF procedure to eliminate their condition. To find out if such is the case, 20 centers in the National Institutes of Health (NIH)-sponsored Cardiothoracic Surgical Trials Network enrolled 260 AF patients who also needed mitral-valve surgery.  (Up to half of people needing mitral-valve surgery also have AF.)

Results were published in the March 16 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Study coauthor, Robert Michler, MD—Co-Director, Montefiore Einstein Center for Heart and Vascular Care—is a principal investigator on this prestigious NIH award. He and coauthor Joseph J. DeRose, MD, Chief, Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Montefiore and surgeons at other participating centers enrolled the patients to randomly undergo surgical ablation or no ablation (control group). Ablation patients were further randomized to one of two types of ablation. All patients were assessed six and 12 months after surgery. Significantly more patients in the ablation group than in the control group were free of AF at both six and 12 months (63.2 percent vs. 29.4%). While the two types of ablation proved equally effective, patients who underwent ablation were significantly more likely than control patients to require implantation of a permanent pacemaker.

Montefiore Einstein Center for Heart and Vascular Care is committed to advancing medical care and science through research and clinical trials. Patients are given opportunities to participate in these early-stage studies and treatment efforts in order to determine if a new therapy or surgical procedure is effective.

Find out more about this innovative research.