Research and Clinical Trials
Basic, clinical and population research uncovers new knowledge about the development, treatment and prevention of heart and vascular disease. The results of this research often change the "standard of care" all patients receive.
The Heart & Vascular Center is a leading center in clinical and population research. Our work advances care in cardiac medicine by helping to improve technology and treatment approaches.
Much of the clinical research we do are "investigator-initiated" studies that originated at our center or the Geisel School of Medicine. We also participate in large registries and national clinical trials that seek to increase the scope of knowledge of cardiovascular disease and new approaches to treatment.
What our participation in research means for you and your care
- You have access to the latest advances in therapies for heart disease.
- Our team of researchers and clinicians work together in your care.
- You have access to new therapies only currently available through clinical trials.
- You can choose an active role in advancing cardiovascular care through participation in clinical research trials.
As the only Academic Medical Center in New Hampshire, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health System have many active trials that are enrolling patients across the system.
A clinical trial/study is research in which people can participate and is one of the final steps in the process to look for better ways to prevent, diagnose, or treat your condition. The purpose of a clinical trial/study is to research the effectiveness of a treatment, medication, experimental drug, or device. Many of the "standard treatments" that patients receive today were developed based on the results of previous clinical trials.
Learn more about how our programs are improving care and outcomes for you through research:
Cardiovascular Medicine Program research
The Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program's current focus is in data collection and outcome measures for ACHD atrial septal defect repair, for use in clinical decision making and communication with families.
The Advanced Heart Failure & Cardiomyopathy Program frequently participates in national clinical trials that test the effectiveness of new therapies, including recently completed trials such as CHARM, IPRESERVE and GUIDE-IT.
Currently, you may request enrollment in the PARAGON clinical trial, which is testing a new medication for patients with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction.
Our program research studies include management of heart failure in the larger population, and outcomes research designed to improve the processes of heart failure care and care management. We also participate in the NIH Heart Failure Network through our association with Tufts Medical Center.
Another key area of research is on the use of palliative care and shared decision-making in heart failure populations. Our program participated in the ENABLE Heart Failure Trial, which showed that those who received supportive care based on a symptom management strategy feel better, spend less time in the hospital and more time at home, and live longer.
Dr. Kono participates in two national consortiums on heart failure and palliative care, and is involved in the Jack Byrne Center for Palliative and Hospice Care at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, scheduled to open in late 2017.
The Cardiac Electrophysiology program has a history of innovation in the development of more effective cardiac rhythm devices, catheter-based diagnostics, ablation techniques, and workflows. Our program works in partnership with the industry to help develop and evaluate promising new technologies in the laboratory. We critically evaluate emerging technologies and techniques, of which only a minority are pursued or deployed within our laboratories on behalf of those of you who most may benefit.
Another current focus is on "interoperability" of cardiac devices and workflows. We uniquely have developed an information technology framework to enable the remote collection of standardized device data from implanted cardiac devices. The data is pulled automatically into the electronic medical record where it is accessible to Dartmouth-Hitchcock caregivers region-wide, and in some cases may be used in a way that substantially impacts the delivery of care.
Our goal is to impact how we monitor and deliver care for the thousands of you with implanted cardiac devices. Ultimately, we hope to provide this information back to you through your cell phones and computers, with an eye toward increasing ownership and control of your information and heart health.
Together with the Structural Heart Disease Program, the Cardiovascular Imaging program has participated in the PARTNER trial since its inception, testing the safety and effectiveness of repairing or replacing the aortic valve by inserting a new valve through a catheter rather than in open surgery. Dartmouth-Hitchcock is one of just 50 sites across the country currently offering TAVR for those of you at low-risk through the PARTNER III clinical trial.
The Interventional Cardiology & Structural Heart Disease Program's cardiology clinical trials include studies of new devices and new treatment strategies for coronary and structural heart disease, on the use of shared decision making in structural heart disease, and outcomes studies through the Northern New England Cardiovascular Disease Study Group.
To inquire about ongoing or future clinical trials in the Pulmonary Hypertension Clinic, please contact the Cardiology Research Coordinator at (603) 650-6228.
As a team physician at Dartmouth, Dr. Beaver participates in the Dartmouth Peak Performance (DP2) program. Together with Jack Turco, MD, then director of the Dartmouth College Health Service, Dr. Beaver was instrumental in Dartmouth implementing a new cardiac screening protocol for all incoming athletes. The protocol, which includes both an on-campus electrocardiogram (EKG) and a physical exam, adds another layer of safety for the college's athletes. It also contributes data to the study of cardiac sudden death in athletes.
Dr. Beaver's research on the screening protocol was presented at the American Heart Association's 2016 Scientific Sessions and Resuscitation Science Symposium in November 2016, and published in the AHA journal, Circulation. To learn more, read the AHA Scientific Sessions poster (PDF) and AHA Circulation journal abstract.
The Valvular Heart Disease Program is involved in clinical research and trials in valvular disease offering:
- One of just 50 centers in the nation currently accepting enrollment in the PARTNER3 TAVR trial, offering Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement for severe aortic stenosis at low operative risk.
- A unique center in the region in its participation in the Cardiothoracic Surgery Network NIH-funded trial network currently accepting enrollment with concomitant mitral and tricuspid valve disease.
- Specialists that participate in the development and publication of national treatment guidelines, as well as in regional outcomes studies conducted through the Northern New England Cardiovascular Disease Study Group.
- Heart and Vascular Research Center at Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth
- Northern New England Cardiovascular Disease Study Group