Researchers at Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals Case Medical Center hope to improve treatment and survival rates of ischemic heart disease patients by providing doctors an unprecedented look at the stents they place in coronary arteries.
The highly collaborative team received a $1.7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health’s National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. The primary investigators leading the effort are: David Wilson, professor of biomedical engineering and radiology; Andrew Rollins, professor of biomedical engineering; and Hiram G. Bezerra. MD, assistant professor of cardiology, Case Western Reserve’s School of Medicine, and medical director of the Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute, Cardiovascular Imaging Core Laboratories at UH.
Reviewers at the National Institutes deemed the proposal perfect: scientifically sound, highly innovative, and highly likely to produce positive results. They gave the plan a score of 10 out of 10—a rarity among the more than 50,000 grant applications the NIH receives annually.
Researchers have already begun tailoring new imaging and will develop high-speed computer analysis to help doctors determine whether a stent is restoring circulation as designed, if more stents are needed to seal off a problem area or whether a stent has failed or become a trouble spot.
“We’re revolutionizing coronary artery imaging,” Wilson said. “Patients will benefit because doctors will be able to make more informed decisions.”