Our laboratories are involved in several lines of clinical research focusing on the percutaneous treatment of coronary artery disease, peripheral vascular disease and structural heart disease. The aim of our scientific work is to improve treatment outcome by means of new transcatheter techniques and innovative interventional devices and to explore innovative diagnostic modalities in the area of cardiovascular diseases.
Coronary Artery Disease
We are in the vanguard of the new coronary stent evaluation area, investigating the efficacy of second-generation drug-eluting stents (DES) and assessing the clinical outcome of DES use for off-label indications in percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI).
Carotid stenting. This field of research is based on an interventional experience in over 600 patients who were treated with carotid stent implantation using different types of stents and brain protection devices. The clinical results compare very favorably with those reported in the literature and the standard of care requirements of the scientific societies for the treatment of carotid artery disease.
Structural Heart Disease
Atrial septal defect and patent forame ovale. We are prospectively assessing, using a validated migraine severity score, the impact of PFO closure on migraine attacks over time in consecutive patients who were treated with the Amplatzer PFO occluder in our institute since May 2000.
Mitral valve regurgitation. We are conducting a clinical study with a new device (MitraClip system) for non-surgical repair of mitral valve regurgitation. We are also continuing a clinical study to assess the safety, feasibility and efficacy of this new interventional treatment approach in patients with severe mitral regurgitation considered high risk for mitral valve surgery. In recent years, we embarked in the RESHAPE-HF trial, a prospective, randomized, parallel-controlled, multicenter clinical evaluation of the MitraClip System plus optimal standard of care therapy compared to optimal standard of care therapy alone for the treatment of clinically significant functional mitral regurgitation in patients with NYHA Functional Class III or Class IV chronic heart failure.
Therapeutic Renal Denervation
We initiated a study to evaluate the safety and blood pressure-lowering efficacy of selective renal denervation using a novel percutaneous, catheter-based treatment in patients with difficult to-control and resistant hypertension.
Use of OCT to visualize coronary plaques and guide percutaneous coronary intervention
Our Area are currently performing a study aiming at correlating the different spontaneously-differentiated monocyte-derived macrophages (MDMs) phenotypes to plaque morphology, including plaque macrophage content, as assessed by optical coherence tomography (OCT). These data may provide the rationale for the design of a new therapeutic approach to manipulate MDM phenotypes, and, thus, to limit the progression of coronary artery disease or enhance its stabilization.