Valley Heart & Vascular Institute - Clinical Research
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Clinical Research

Participation in clinical research trials at The Valley Hospital is completely voluntary. We do encourage joining these trials when appropriate, as these represent the main way that medicine is advanced in our society. The Institutional Review Board is a governing body comprised of clinicians and lay-persons that ensures that all of our research is done in a way that protects patients and their rights, with a focus on safety.

Institutional Review Board-Approved Clinical Trial at The Valley Hospital:
"Mechanical Strength Testing of Aortic Tissue"

Since the TABAV is among the busiest aneurysm programs in the state, we have an opportunity to contribute to the growing knowledge base of the complex disease called thoracic aneurysm. We begin with thorough radiologic and historical risk stratification with entry into our database/registry. The database allows us to track aneurysm characteristics and other objective findings over time in a longitudinal fashion.

One of the main ways that we hope to generate useful information is by matching registry data with actual mechanical strength data from aneurysms that have been removed in the OR. Instead of simply discarding the resected aneurysm specimens as usual, the fresh tissue is cut and analyzed using a special machine and computer that records various mechanical characteristics of the tissue.

We hope that we will be able to correlate certain radiologic features with intrinsic aneurysm weakness that might have made them more prone to rupture or dissection. If these features can be identified, it may enable earlier detection of ‘aggressive’ aneurysms and better-timed interventions. This research has been made possible by a generous donation from The Valley Hospital Foundation.

One other opportunity afforded to us is the ability to study the genetic basis of thoracic aneurysm disease and BAV. The Valley Hospital collects tissue as part of a clinical trial and maintains one of the largest tissue banks in the nation. Using sophisticated laboratory techniques, genetic information can be studied, and correlation with certain clinical and radiographic findings could lead to useful additions to our risk stratification schema. Specifically, we hope to seek out biomarkers that can be identified in a blood sample that could help characterize aneurysms as those that can be safely observed versus those that are at much higher risk of complications.

Please visit the Sophisticated Imaging section for radiology-based research.

For more information, contact Leanne Scaglione, R.N., MSN, APN-BC, Coordinator for the Thoracic Aneurysm Surveillance Program, at 201-447-8398.

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