New study at VBMC examines treatment for advanced heart failure patients

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According to the American Heart Association, there are more than 6 million Americans living with heart failure, of which 600,000 have advanced stages of this cardiac disease.


In its early stages, heart failure can be managed with medication and a healthy lifestyle, but as it progresses, treatment can become more complex and may include medications, diuretics, implantable devices and/or a transplant. However, some of the most critically ill patients may not respond to these treatments.


Learn more about congestive heart failure at Nuvance Health


With that in mind, a team at Vassar Brothers Medical Center and The Heart Center, a division of Hudson Valley Cardiovascular Practice, P.C., has embarked on a groundbreaking study to evaluate a novel treatment option for advanced heart failure patients unresponsive to standard medical therapies.


The DRAIN-HF study (Diuretics Alone vs. Aortix Endovascular Device for Acute Heart Failure, NCT05677100) examines the safety and effectiveness of an implantable heart pump designed to reduce the workload of the heart while simultaneously improving kidney function to remove excess fluid. AortixTM is a mechanical circulatory support pump, which is placed into the descending aorta via a minimally invasive catheter procedure.


In April, the cardiac team successfully treated its first patient with the device at Vassar Brothers Medical Center’s new cardiac catheterization lab suite.


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“Today, there are no effective treatment options for heart failure patients who continue to experience congestion and other symptoms despite being on high-dose intravenous diuretic therapy,” said Dr. James Lyons, Co-Principal Investigator and Heart Failure Program Director for The Heart Center. “These patients have very poor outcomes with high rates of rehospitalization and death, and new therapy options are critically needed. The Aortix pump is a promising new technology as it helps decongest patients and increase urine output. We are excited to be one of the first hospitals to offer this important treatment option as part of the DRAIN-HF trial.”


Along with Dr. Lyons, Director of Endovascular Services Dr. Rajeev Narayan is also a co-principal investigator of the trial. Together, they will continue to examine hospitalized heart failure patients who have persistent congestion and demonstrate resistance to high-dose diuretics.


Learn more about clinical trials at Nuvance Health

According to a recent study published in Clinical Cardiology, approximately 25 to 30 percent of hospitalized heart failure patients experience reduced blood flow to the kidneys, causing them to become less effective at removing excess fluid from the body and further exacerbating heart failure. The Aortix pump is designed to both rest the heart and increase kidney perfusion to improve heart failure symptoms.


To learn more about the trial, please call The Heart Center at 845-473-1188.