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Heart Failure Institute at Oklahoma Heart Hospital Breaking New Ground in Treatment of Congestive Heart Failure

Institute will be Research Center for Causes and Prevention of Heart Failure and Sudden Cardiac Death

By Dr. Philip Adamson, Medical Director – Heart Failure Institute at Oklahoma Heart Hospital

The primary goal of the Heart Failure Institute at Oklahoma Heart Hospital is to take the treatment of congestive heart failure from an end stage disease process with virtually no hope of recovery to a proactive program of medications, devices and surgery designed to return the patient’s heart back to normal. The disease management systems our team has developed and is now deploying at OHH have demonstrated dramatic recovery rates with heart failure patients – to the point that ‘cure’ rates are now being discussed. When you consider the fact that heart failure was once considered a hopeless disease – this is great news for Oklahoma.

Congestive heart failure is typically a menacing disease that causes a steady decline in the pumping ability of the heart muscle causing the walls of the heart to enlarge. This makes the heart work much harder and causes fluid to build up in the lungs, liver, abdomen and lower extremities. The heart can become so weak that it fails to pump enough oxygen and nutrients to meet the body’s needs. Congestive heart failure is most commonly caused by damage to the heart muscles from heart attacks due to heart vessel blockages and high blood pressure. Other causes also occur such as heart valve damage from infection or irregular heart beats.

Just 30 years ago, the hope for survival in patients with heart failure was dismal and centered on heart transplantation as the ultimate therapy when in fact, only 1 in 25,000 patients with heart failure would benefit from heart transplant. In the last decade, a new cardiovascular specialty has begun to emerge with the possibility of managing left ventricular dysfunction, reversing myocardial damage and prolonging life in patients who before were given no realistic hope for survival.

Subsequently therapies for patients with chronic heart failure have evolved rapidly , medical and device therapies are now available that reduce symptoms, reverse the progress of left ventricular dysfunction and importantly, improve long-term survival without the need for heart transplantation.

Device technology has rapidly risen to the forefront of available tools to treat patients with heart failure. Recent technological advances are giving us devices intended to prevent sudden cardiac death, including implantable cardioverter-defibrillators and cardiac resynchronization devices and biventricular pacemakers that are helping correct the electrical malfunctions of the heart. Other technology allows us to remotely access physiological data acquired from permanently implanted devices via simple phone lines and the Internet to more efficiently and effectively manage patients’ heart failure syndrome. This approach gives us meaningful information about the patient’s status while allowing the patient to remain at home.

Specialized treatment centers, like the Heart Failure Institute at Oklahoma Heart Hospital, are successful because we deploy a multidisciplinary team of providers including heart failure specialists, electrophysiology and pacing specialists, nurses trained in heart failure management to frequently evaluate patients and adjust their long-term medical therapies.

We have learned that the key component to this team approach is frequent follow-up visits with our patients. Patients will see us a minimum of once every three months and more often as symptoms dictate. Frequent follow-up and organized delivery of standard of care therapy have shown a dramatic impact on hospital use, readmissions and length of hospital stay.

Just a few years ago it was unheard of to restore a congestive heart failure patient’s heart back to normal function – today, with the newest medications and technology we routinely see failing hearts return to normal function.

Dr. Adamson is a native Oklahoman who specializes in treating patients with congestive heart failure. He is a frequent guest lecturer at national and international symposiums featuring the latest research examining new technology to advance treatmentss for heart failure. His work into cardiac electrical remodeling and sudden cardiac death are well published in such prestigious journals as Circulation, the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Journal of Cardiac Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Cardiology Reviews and Reports, Drug Discovery Today: Therapeutic Strategies, and CME Today.

Dr. Adamson's research interests involve investigation of chronic physiologic monitoring in patients with heart failure and the mechanisms of sudden cardiac death with chronic heart disease. Dr. Adamson is the Principle Investigator for the REDUCE-HF Trial which is a multicenter clinical trial involving over 850 patients investigating the role continuous hemodynamic monitoring in patients receiving an implantable cardioverter defibrillator. He shares the responsibilities of Principle Investigator for several other development trials of new drugs and devices for patients with chronic heart failure.

Dr. Adamson founded the Heart Failure Institute at Oklahoma Heart Hospital in July 2005. This institute is designed specifically to provide state-of-the-art medical and device therapies for patients with chronic heart failure with the goals of restoring hope, quality and quantity of life. The Heart Failure Institute team consists of specially trained nurses and non-physician providers who help manage patients both in the hospital and from home.

Heart Failure Institute

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