MCVI Joined National Study Looking at Treatment for Cardiac Condition

October 28, 2021

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Do you experience frequent chest pain (angina) but have been told that you have normal (or non-obstructed) coronary arteries? Cardiology experts are standing by at Memorial Cardiac and Vascular Institute ready to diagnose this cardiac condition.

“There is a type of heart disease affecting the tiny (micro) arteries in your heart, unlike more familiar types of heart disease, which affect the larger arteries, and this disease is known as coronary microvascular dysfunction (CMD),” said Jonathan Roberts, MD, Medical Director, Clinical Research and Education, Interventional Cardiology Program Director, Memorial Healthcare System. “Not many Cath Labs are set up to diagnose this important problem, but we are experts at doing this at Memorial.”

People with CMD experience frequent chest pain, also called angina, during normal daily activities like shopping, cooking and going to work, but the underlying cause of their chest pain is different from that caused by more common types of heart disease. Traditional test, such as an angiogram, are only able to detect problems with the large arteries and not designed to detect issues within tiny heart arteries. However, in patients with CMD, the walls of these tiny coronary arteries are damaged or diseased, reducing flow of blood to the heart muscle and resulting in the symptoms of chest pain.

While there are some treatments to help patients manage this disease, MCVI now has joined a national research study that is looking at investigational cell therapy as a potential treatment to reduce or resolve chest pain in the population of patients who have this disease. MCVI is the only cardiac institute in Florida that is part of the FREEDOM Trial.

FREEDOM Trial – Investigational Cell Therapy

The FREEDOM Trial is evaluating a type of investigational cell therapy, not yet approved by the FDA, using a patient’s own cells to potentially repair damage to the tiny blood vessels, called microvasculature. The treatment is delivered via a minimally invasive, catheter-based procedure and serious complications are considered rare.

Patients who meet the criteria include: Men or women 18 years and older experiencing angina at least three times per week; prior diagnosis of CMD; and no obstructive coronary artery disease. To enroll in the study, call 954-265-4184.