Saint Luke's research listed among American Heart Association's top 10 research advances for 2012

Resuscitation, new high blood pressure treatment, and bypass options for diabetics among foremost scientific projects

KANSAS CITY, Mo., Dec. 21, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Three clinical studies featuring cardiac research conducted at Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute made the American Heart Association's (AHA) recently published annual list of top 10 scientific advances in heart disease and stroke for 2012.

"We are delighted that our research program has been recognized by the AHA for leading these groundbreaking studies that will have a profound impact on the practice of medicine," said cardiologist David Cohen, M.D., M.Sc., director of research at Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute. "Research is at the core of our mission because it enables us to provide leading edge care to patients from both the Kansas City region and around the world." 

Topping the list of advances was a study examining the relationship between duration of CPR and the likelihood of survival from cardiac arrest. Studies led by Saint Luke's cardiologist and outcomes researcher Paul Chan, M.D., along with colleagues from the University of Michigan, showed that hospitals using the Get With the Guidelines-Resuscitation quality improvement program experienced higher survival rates for cardiac arrest patients who received CPR for a longer amount of time, without decreased neurological function. This study's unique findings raise critical questions about resuscitation duration and have the potential to change medical practice.

Another Top-10 advance was a large-scale clinical trial funded by the National Institutes of Health that compared bypass surgery with drug-coated stents for patients with diabetes.  The FREEDOM study found patients with diabetes who had multiple clogged heart arteries fared significantly better when treated with bypass surgery vs. drug-coated stents. The study suggests that bypass surgery should be considered an important treatment option for such patients. Dr. Cohen and Elizabeth Magnuson, Ph.D., director of the Health Economics and Technology Assessment research group at Saint Luke's, were among the trial study's authors.

The third major advance was based on a series of studies examining the connection between the sympathetic nervous system and high blood pressure (hypertension). These studies found that renal denervation – a minimally invasive procedure that reduces the functional connection between the sympathetic nervous system and the kidneys – is safe and effective at lowering high blood pressure resistant to other treatments. Surgery is not required; instead, a catheter delivers small bursts of radiofrequency energy to ablate, or reduce, part of the sympathetic nervous system's connection to the kidneys. This treatment, currently under investigation as part of the SYMPLICITY-HTN 3 trial, is available in the Kansas City area only through Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute, led by interventional cardiologists, Steven Marso, M.D., and Steven Laster, M.D.

For more information about the AHA list, visit article http://newsroom.heart.org/pr/aha/_prv-2012-top-10-advances-in-heart-241901.aspx. To learn more about research at Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute, visit saintlukeshealthsystem.org.

About Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute
Recognized as one of the leading outcomes research centers in the country, Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute has led more than 115 clinical research trials in all aspects of cardiovascular disease. The Institute's clinicians and researchers have pioneered methods for quantifying patients' experience and outcomes of their disease and using these data as endpoints in clinical trials, as markers of health care quality, and as tools in improving patient care.

Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute is a member of Saint Luke's Health System, which consists of 10 area hospitals and several primary and specialty care practices, and provides a range of inpatient, outpatient, and home care services. Founded as a faith-based, not-for-profit organization, our mission includes a commitment to the highest levels of excellence in health care and the advancement of medical research and education. The health system is an aligned organization in which the physicians and hospitals assume responsibility for enhancing the physical, mental, and spiritual health of people in the metropolitan Kansas City area and the surrounding region.

SOURCE Saint Luke's Health System



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