Heart study could be a game-changer

Professor Kazuaki Negishi is leading a new study at Nepean Hospital.
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Nepean Hospital’s Cardiology Research Team has received a prestigious grant from the Heart Foundation to fund a revolutionary and potentially life-saving study.

The research team will be trialing a novel technique called sonothrombolysis, led by Professor Kazuaki Negishi. The technique aims to help salvage heart muscle in patients experiencing a heart attack.

“Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer in the world,” Dr Negishi said.

“The disease that we’re focusing on is the heart attack. In a heart attack there are blockages of the heart arteries with blood clots. Usually in standard practice, we would put a stent in to open up the blockage, but in more than half of the patients who have this procedure, they had blockages in the tiny, tiny arteries of the heart.

“We are going to salvage more heart muscles by adding the new technique, which is a non-invasive technique.”

The grant is going to help fund various aspects of the trial, which will be completed across Nepean, Gosford and John Hunter hospitals.

“It will cover the costs for the equipment, as well as the delivery of the procedure,” Dr Negishi said.

Though it is a multi-centre trial, the study being led by Dr Negishi at Nepean means that local residents will be the first to benefit from the treatment once proven.

“We do research to help people, future patients. Once this technique is proven, we will be able to help future patients all over the world,” Dr Negishi said.

“We are leading this research at Nepean, so we are the first ones to implement it. Patients either in the Nepean area, or those who come to Nepean Hospital, would be the first ones to receive the benefits.”

The study will run over two years, with recruitment to commence this year.

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