I am
heartfoundation.org.au|Helpline 13 11 12

Diagnostic Ultrasound with contrast agent for non-invasive treatment for Heart Attack

Professor Kazuaki Negishi, Institution: University of Sydney

2018 Vanguard Grant

Years funded: 2019-2021


Heart disease is the single leading cause of death in Australia and heart attack (i.e. acute myocardial infarction) is a life-threatening event. It claimed 8,623 Australian lives in 2014 (i.e. 24 deaths/day).
Heart attack requires emergent intervention to restore the blood flow. Fibrinolysis is recommended in Australia, and worldwide, when primary percutaneous coronary intervention (pPCI, so-called “stent” therapy) cannot be performed < 90 min of first medical contact. The fibrinolysis therapy uses a drug injection aiming to restore flow by dissolving the blood clot blocking the heart artery. In Australia, many patients are a long way from a pPCI centre, and these patients usually receive fibrinolysis in hospitals that are not PCI-capable.

Unfortunately, the success rate of fibrinolysis alone is suboptimal, where only 54% are restored to normal flow. This is critically important because 30-day survival among patients with normal flow is twice that of patients with no flow.

Recently, small pilot studies in humans show that a new technique called sonothrombolysis (adding a combination of diagnostic ultrasound with contrast agents to the fibrinolysis) can dissolve the clot at much higher success rate (~ x3) than fibrinolysis only, reduces the heart damage, and improves heart function.

These findings are promising but there has never been a randomised controlled trial (RCT), which is what we propose in this current application. We will perform a pilot RCT to assess the efficacy of this method. If successful, this result will be used to inform the design of a large, multicentre NHMRC clinical trial grant application.

The potential is huge because this method would help many lives who live remote areas or with limited access to a 24/7 PCI centre, as this method could open the heart artery at a much earlier stage. In future, patients can receive this therapy in the ambulance on their way to hospital because this therapy only requires ultrasound and contrast agents.

You might also be interested in

Research Directory

Research Directory

A program of research to improve ACCESS to cardiovascular care

A program of research to improve ACCESS to cardiovascular care

Professor Robyn Clark, Institution: Flinders University...

Altering the rehabilitation environment to improve stroke survivor activity (AREISSA)

Altering the rehabilitation environment to improve stroke survivor activity (AREISSA)

Assistant Professor Neil Spratt, Institution: The University of Newcastle...

Constructing Aboriginal health: a review of cardiovascular research, 1933-2014

Constructing Aboriginal health: a review of cardiovascular research, 1933-2014

Ms Joanne Luke, Institution: University of Melbourne...

Exercise and brain volume loss after stroke

Exercise and brain volume loss after stroke

Professor Amy Brodtmann, Institution: Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health...

Growing healthy hearts - how passive smoke exposure and elevated blood pressure early in life impacts adult cardiovascular health

Growing healthy hearts - how passive smoke exposure and elevated blood pressure early in life impacts adult cardiovascular health

Growing healthy hearts - how passive smoke exposure and elevated blood pressure early in life impacts adult cardiovascular health

Dr Costan Magnussen, Institution: University of Tasmania...

Lipid disorders in patients at high cardiovascular disease risk

Lipid disorders in patients at high cardiovascular disease risk

Dr Esther Ooi, Institution: University of Western Australia...

Promoting active, healthy lifestyles among women at key life stages

Promoting active, healthy lifestyles among women at key life stages

Associate Professor Verity Cleland, Institution: University of Tasmania...

Reducing population salt consumption in Victoria

Reducing population salt consumption in Victoria

Reducing population salt consumption in Victoria

Professor Bruce Neal, Institution: University of New South Wales...

Starting early – Increasing young children’s physical activity

Starting early – Increasing young children’s physical activity

Associate Professor Hayley Christian, Institution: University of Western Australia...

Environment, climate change and heart health

Environment, climate change and heart health

Environment, climate change and heart health

Information on how air pollution, heatwaves and bushfires can impact heart health, and what you can do to look after yourself. ...

Heart Health Check Toolkit

Heart Health Check Toolkit

Heart Age Calculator

Heart Age Calculator

Heart Age Calculator

Could you be at risk of heart disease? Get your estimated heart age now....

Kids recipes

Kids recipes

Kids recipes

Find heart healthy kids recipes...

Absolute CVD risk calculator

Absolute CVD risk calculator

The Absolute CVD risk calculator estimates the likelihood of having a heart attack or stroke in the next five years....

Matilda signs up for Jump Rope just one month after open-heart surgery

Matilda signs up for Jump Rope just one month after open-heart surgery

Matilda signs up for Jump Rope just one month after open-heart surgery

Media Release - 26 June 2020...

What is atrial fibrillation?

What is atrial fibrillation?

What is atrial fibrillation?

Atrial fibrillation is a type of arrhythmia where your heart beats irregularly and fast....

WEBINAR | The future of CVD risk assessment

WEBINAR | The future of CVD risk assessment

WEBINAR | The future of CVD risk assessment

Should population-based CVD risk assessment models make way for individualised risk prediction techniques?...

One pot green goodness pasta

One pot green goodness pasta

One pot green goodness pasta

15 minutes
Serves 2

Is salt bad for your heart?

Is salt bad for your heart?

Is salt bad for your heart?

Most Australians are eating more than the recommended amounts and this can cause health problems....

Absolute CVD risk assessment resources

Absolute CVD risk assessment resources

Resources and clinical information for health professionals...

Cardiac rehabilitation resources for healthcare providers

Cardiac rehabilitation resources for healthcare providers

Useful cardiac rehabilitation resources for health professionals....

What is heart valve disease?

What is heart valve disease?

What is heart valve disease?

Heart valve disease means that your heart valve or valves don't open or close properly....

Trek for Australian Hearts

Trek for Australian Hearts

Trek for Australian Hearts

Join the Heart Foundation in South Australia for the journey of a lifetime, trekking the ancient Flinders Ranges to help save Australian hearts....

Lipid management clinical information and resources

Lipid management clinical information and resources

Lipid management resources for health professionals...

Relationships and sex after a heart attack

Relationships and sex after a heart attack

Relationships and sex after a heart attack

Explore some useful things to know about intimacy after a heart attack....

Heart disease and pregnancy

Heart disease and pregnancy

Heart disease and pregnancy

Pregnancy is often referred to as the “ultimate stress test” for the body....

Asian recipes

Asian recipes

Asian recipes

Find heart healthy Asian recipes....

Physical activity after a heart attack

Physical activity after a heart attack

Physical activity after a heart attack

Discover what you need to know about being active after a heart attack....

Sydney Swans join with the Heart Foundation to give Aussie hearts a sporting chance

Sydney Swans join with the Heart Foundation to give Aussie hearts a sporting chance

Sydney Swans join with the Heart Foundation to give Aussie hearts a sporting chance

Media release - 7 July 2021...

COVID-19 info & FAQs

COVID-19 info & FAQs

COVID-19 info & FAQs

Information and FAQs about COVID-19 and heart disease....

Salad recipes

Salad recipes

Salad recipes

Search through our tasty salad recipes...

Heart Foundation Tick

Heart Foundation Tick

Heart Foundation Tick

The Tick Program has made a substantial contribution to the health of Australians over the past 26 years....

Snack recipes

Snack recipes

Snack recipes

Search for healthy snack ideas...

For Professionals: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples information and resources

For Professionals: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples information and resources

For Professionals: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples information and resources

Resources for providing best practice cardiovascular care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples....

What waist measurements mean for your heart

What waist measurements mean for your heart

What waist measurements mean for your heart

How your waist measurement contributes to your heart health...

Automated Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD or AICD)

Automated Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD or AICD)

This is a device inserted into your chest to return abnormal heart rhythms to normal using electrical impulses. ...

What is heart disease?

What is heart disease?

What is heart disease?

Heart disease is the broad term for conditions that affect the structure and function of the heart muscle. ...

Beef Burgers

Beef Burgers

Beef Burgers

10 minutes
Serves 4

Chicken fajitas

Chicken fajitas

Chicken fajitas

20 minutes
Serves 4