Heart and Vascular Research & Clinical Trials

The Heart and Vascular Institute of Greenville Health System (GHS) is currently seeking patients to participate in a variety of clinical trials. GHS Institutional Review Board (IRB) monitors the administration of each study at the hospital system and approves new trials before patients are enrolled.

Acute Heart Failure

Heart Failure is a condition in which the heart is unable to pump enough blood to meet the body’s need.  It is a common condition, affecting around 23 million people worldwide.  During acute heart failure, the heart has a hard time pumping blood from the lungs into the rest of the body (peripheral circulation).  This often leads to severe shortness of breath, among other symptoms.

GHS investigators are participating in a clinical research trial studying an investigational drug compared to placebo (substance that does not contain any drug), for the treatment of acute heart failure.  Approximately 600 patients will receive a 48 hour infusion of the drug or placebo.  Research patients will be assessed daily while they are in the hospital and will have a follow-up visit at day 30.  Patients may be eligible to participate in the study if they have been admitted to the hospital for the treatment of acute heart failure and still have symptoms (shortness of breath) after receiving initial standard of care treatment.

The principal investigator is Arthur L. Eberly III, MD.  For more information about this trial, please call the Study Coordinator at 455-4551.

Atrial Fibrillation

Cardiology and Neurology are collaborating to study the connection between ischemic stroke and atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat).

In many cases, the cause of an ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack (commonly referred to as a “mini-stroke”) is unknown. It is thought that many of these stroke patients may suffer from previously undetected atrial fibrillation.

The CRYSTAL-AF study will evaluate the occurrence of atrial fibrillation in patients who have recently experienced a stroke from an unknown cause. Patients enrolled in the trial will be monitored by a neurologist at regular intervals and may receive an FDA-approved Insertable Cardiac Monitor (ICM), which continuously monitors the heart’s electrical activity and can detect episodes of atrial fibrillation. The results of the study may contribute to future guidelines for diagnosis and treatment of stoke and management of atrial fibrillation.

Approximately 450 patients will participate in this study across the world.

The principal investigator for this study is Donald S. Rubenstein, MD, PhD. For more information about the CRYSTAL-AF study, please call the Study Coordinator at (864) 455-7793.

Atrial Fibrillation Ablations

Atrial fibrillation is a condition caused by incorrect electrical signals in the atria (upper chambers of the heart). When the atria beat rapidly or irregularly, they do not pump blood effectively. This may cause palpitations, fatigue, reduced energy, and increase the risk of stroke.

Atrial fibrillation is sometimes treated with a procedure called catheter ablation, which uses electrical energy to destroy the heart tissue where the atrial fibrillation starts. Patients needing catheter ablation may be eligible to participate in a clinical trial designed to compare two ways of performing the procedure: 1) manual control of the ablation catheter by the physician; and 2) robotically-assisted control of the ablation catheter by the physician.

The principal investigator is Donald S. Rubenstein, MD, PhD. For more information about this trial, please call the Study Coordinator at 455-2288.

Prior Heart Attack
If you have had a heart related event, you may be eligible to participate in a clinical research study of an investigational medication. This clinical research study will evaluate an investigational antiplatelet medication for long term treatment in adults 50 years and older who suffered a heart attack one to three years ago and have at least one of the following risk factors:

•   Age 65 or older
•   Diabetes mellitus requiring medication
•   Documented history of a second prior heart attack
•   Multi-vessel coronary artery disease
•   Chronic non-end stage renal dysfunction

Approximately 21,000 patients will take part in this study globally. On average, patients will participate in the study for approximately 26 months. Study visits will take place every 4 months for the first year and then every 6 months thereafter. Medication during the study will be provided to qualified participants at no charge. During your time in the study, you will continue to see your regular doctors.

The principal investigator is H. Graham Parker, MD. For more information about this trial, please call the Study Coordinator at 455-7793.