Microcirculation in Ischaemic and Non-Ischaemic Heart Disease

Years funded:
2019 - 2021

The proposed projects examine two contentious topics in cardiology, reperfusion injury and chest pain syndromes. The first project will focus on utilising doxycycline, a commonly used antibiotic, to reduce the damage caused by heart attacks. The second project will investigate chest pain in patients without obstructive coronary disease measuring resistance in the small vessels of the heart.

The modern treatment of heart attacks with urgent angioplasty and stents aims to save as much heart muscle as possible by restoring blood flow to the heart when the coronary artery becomes occluded. Despite rapidly restoring blood flow, heart muscle cells can continue to die once blood flow is restored due to the toxicity of the oxygen molecules and waste products on the injured cells (so-called reperfusion injury). Project 1 is a randomised, placebo-controlled study investigating the effect of doxycycline on reducing heart muscle injury when given before opening the occluded artery. Doxycycline has numerous benficial effects that might make it a useful, cost-effective additional therapy for heart attacks.  

Chest pain is a common symptom among patients who often do not have evidence of significant coronary disease. This chest pain conundrum could be related to abnormalities in blood flow in the small vessels of the heart muscle. In Project 2, we will utilise an invasive measure of small blood vessel function (the index of microcirculatory resistance) to investigate blood flow changes. 

Researcher Profile

Dr Samer Noaman

Institute: University of Melbourne
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