UVA Health researchers discover tool to help patients with heart failure

UVA Health researchers discover tool to help patients with heart failure
(FILE) (Source: WVIR)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Cardiologists and researchers at the University of Virginia say they have developed a new metric that could improve survival for heart-failure patients.

The new measurement helps identify patients who could be at higher risk for heart or pulmonary issues so doctors can tailor their treatment to be less or more aggressive.

Researchers say the study is the first to show a survival benefit from wireless pressure-monitoring sensors implanted in the pulmonary arteries. Pulmonary artery proportional pulse pressure (PAPP) is a new measure of heart function developed at UVA that can identify patients at very high risk of hospitalization or death from systolic heart failure or pulmonary hypertension (high blood pressure in the heart and lungs).

“This represents a very nice application of personalized medicine,” UVA Cardiologist Dr. Ken Bilchick said. “This particular parameter reflects the human dynamics, the pressures inside a person’s heart to determine whether they fit this description of somebody who would benefit from a device based on a personalized approach to therapy.”

“Being able to identify which patients need more aggressive therapies, and which patients may need a bit more time, in terms of modifying some medications and so forth, is quite important,” Dr. Sula Mazimba said.

Bilchick says you can ask your doctor about this new tool out of UVA if you suffer from heart failure and see if it can help you.

Copyright 2021 WVIR. All rights reserved.