A multidisciplinary team of doctors from UC Davis Health received a $ 1.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) / National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) to research a common but poorly understood type of ‘heart failure.
The funding will allow researchers to take a precision medicine approach to assess heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF), which occurs when the left lower chamber of the heart is unable to relax and fill properly during the diastolic phase. The disease causes less than normal blood to be pumped throughout the body and is associated with a five-year mortality of 30 to 60%.
HFpEF accounts for nearly half of all heart failure cases, totaling at least three million diagnoses in the United States each year. It is associated with multiple medical conditions, including hypertension, diabetes, coronary heart disease, obesity, atrial fibrillation, pulmonary hypertension, and chronic kidney disease. There is currently no effective treatment for ICFpEF.
“We are very pleased to be selected for this grant to improve the evaluation of patients with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction in order to better understand the different causes underlying the diagnosis,” said Martin Cadeiras , cardiologist and medical director of UC Davis Health. Heart failure, transplantation and mechanical circulatory support program.
âThe incidence of HFpEF is increasing in prevalence with our aging population and ongoing epidemics of obesity, diabetes and hypertension,â Cadeiras said. “In addition, current treatments for HFpEF have shown limited efficacy, increasing the urgency to understand the mechanistic underpinnings of this heterogeneous disease.”
The five-year study will focus on a diverse group of California Central Valley patients diagnosed with heart failure. Researchers will perform in-depth phenotyping analyzes, which include comprehensive molecular analyzes, whole-body imaging, text and sentence mining from electronic health records, and machine learning.
The team will use UC Davis Health’s EXPLORER total body scanner, which acquires head-to-toe PET imaging of the body, all at the same time. It is the first and only FDA-approved total body PET scanner in the United States.
âHFpEF is a systemic multi-organ syndrome that involves multiple pathophysiologic abnormalities beyond left ventricular diastolic dysfunction,â said Javier E. LÃ³pez, cardiologist and director of the Cardiac and Vascular Rehabilitation Program at UC Davis Health.
âThe EXPLORER will allow us not only to image the heart, but all the other organs in the body at the same time,â LÃ³pez said. “This will be the first time that researchers will be able to assess the biology that occurs in these patients and provide us with a new understanding of this multi-organ interaction.”
The research will be conducted under the auspices of the UC Davis School of Medicine, the Department of Internal Medicine, the Cardiovascular Research Institute (CVRI) and the NIH-funded Center for Clinical and Translational Science Center (CTSC). .
“The institutional infrastructure in place at UC Davis Health will play a critical role in the success of this research,” said Nipavan Chiamvimonvat, Roger Tatarian Full Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine and Co-Director of the UC Davis Cardiovascular Research Institute. âThe partnership with CVRI and CTSC will provide us with the necessary infrastructure for the proposed study, sample collection and repositories that will help us achieve our long-term goal of finding new forms of treatment for these patients. “
UC Davis co-investigators include Jason Adams, Kwame Atsina, Imo Ebong, Michael Gibson, Anne Knowlton, David Liem and Padmini Sirish of the Department of Internal Medicine, Nicholas Anderson of the Department of Public Health Sciences, Simon Cherry of Department of Biomedical Engineering, Ramsey Badawi and Guobao Wang from the Department of Radiology, Bruce Hammock from the Department of Entomology and Leighton Izu from the Department of Pharmacology.