Research in Exercise Testing/ Training and Preventive Cardiology
Research at the Preventive Cardiology Center and Stress Testing Laboratories focus on several areas that include the evaluation of clinical outcomes of patients enrolled in cardiac rehabilitation/secondary prevention programs with a special emphasis on women, racial minorities, and persons diabetes, obesity and heart failure. Evaluation of the physiologic changes that occur after moderate intensity exercise training includes studies on endothelial function, blood viscosity, parameters of autonomic tone, and left ventricular remodeling after myocardial infarction. Studies that aim to evaluate and develop exercise-testing protocols are ongoing. The Boston Medical Center Cardiac Rehabilitation program serves as a major site for the NIH multicenter Heart Failure ACTION trial, a study which aims to evaluate the effect of exercise training on morbidity and mortality in persons with heart failure.
The focus of the Cardiothoracic Research Laboratory has included the development of methods and techniques to decrease myocardial damage during the revascularization of acutely ischemic myocardium. These include substrate enhancement with amino acids, retrograde cardioplegia infusion, complement inhibition, and the reduction of inflammation with statin agents and ACE inhibitors. We have also been interested in the use of Glucose-Insulin-Potassium (GIK) solutions during CABG surgery in diabetic patients and have an ongoing clinical series on this subject with funding from The American Diabetic Association.
Research in Atrial Fibrilation
Dr. Rodney Falk is Director of Clinical Cardiology Research at Boston University School of Medicine and Co-Director of the Amyloid Program. Dr. Falk’s major research interests are in the field of atrial fibrillation where he has been the principal investigator of recent or ongoing studies into newer pharmacological methods of reducing the incidence of post-operative atrial fibrillation , and new antiarrhythmic drugs for prevention and termination of the arrhythmia. He directs the central echocardiographic reading site for a large multicenter study investigating the effects of atrial fibrillation and its reversion on ventricular function, and is the local principal investigator for a multicenter study on stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation sponsored by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Dr. Falk’s other interests include the treatment of congestive heart failure, prevention of thromboembolism in cardiomyopathy, and investigations into the cardiac manifestations of systemic amyloidosis . Also, at the Framingham Heart Study, Dr. Wolf has published many of the seminal publications on the risk of stroke in atrial fibrillation and Dr. Benjamin and colleagues have described the epidemiology, risk factors and risk of death in atrial fribrillation.