Clinical trials are vitally important to the advancement of both cardiovascular and peripheral vascular (related to the arteries in the neck, arms, and legs) medicine and treatments. They are usually designed to determine if a new drug, intervention, or device is effective. In some cases, trials may have fewer side effects and/or enhanced outcomes when compared to current treatments. Other trials look at new or innovative uses of current technology to more accurately assess and diagnose cardiovascular disease.
Clinical trials provide opportunities for patients to:
Take a more active role in their care and treatment
Gain access to investigational drugs, treatments and disease management
Contribute to medical research
We have several trials open for enrollment: Find A Trial.
By conducting clinical trials, Columbia St. Mary's not only plays a role in advancing heart care and vascular treatments, but also provides patients with additional treatment options. One example is the additional use of drug-eluting stents, previously used only in the heart. Through clinical trials, it was found that the treatment could be used to keep arteries open below the knee, resulting in better blood circulation to the lower leg and foot. As a result, diabetic foot ulcers healed better and the chances of amputation declined.
Another component of the Columbia St. Mary’s heart care trials is electrophysiology. Electrophysiology is the study of the electrical activity associated with the heart itself, specifically in the way the heart’s own electrical impulses influence normal and abnormal heartbeats. Clinical trials in electrophysiology have advanced the use of implantable defibrillators and their components to more accurately assess and appropriately treat life-threatening heart arrhythmias, and have enhanced the quality-of-life for patients with arrhythmias who need these devices.
Every clinical trial has strict guidelines regarding informed consent, eligibility, treatment, and follow-up care, as well as a detailed description of all risks and possible side effects.
Improving patient care is at the heart of Columbia St. Mary's cardiovascular research. We focus on:
Columbia St. Mary's is currently participating in studies initiated by our own physicians and staff and studies sponsored by pharmaceutical companies, and we have several different studies available for many types of cardiac, peripheral vascular, and electrophysiological conditions.
For more information about cardiac and vascular clinical trials at Columbia St. Mary's, please call our clinical research coordinator at 414-585-1497 or 414-585-1498.