I am looking for patient and lay representatives to help with the design and implementation of research into new types of imaging used in the assessment of patients with heart attacks (see summary below).
I am looking for people who may have suffered heart attacks in the past (or may have friends and relatives who have done so), or who have experienced being looked after in an Emergency Department for any other condition.
In particular, I am looking for help with any or all of the following:
– quick advice about the design proposals for my research
– advice about the Plain English Summary I have written
– advice about further study design, including setting up a PPI group
– participation in a steering group for the research to monitor progress
– help with publicising the research findings
I have ended up submitting the first set of proposals much earlier than planned, so the timeframe for the first two items is very short (by December 14th – apologies!) – all the others will take place at a more relaxed pace over 2020 (and beyond…)
Thanks for your consideration!
Summary Of Planned Project:
This research aims to test and improve a new method for finding the cause of a patient’s heart attack and predicting how likely they are to have more in the future. It also aims to see whether using this method might save money for the NHS. If successful it will allow doctors to better treat the cause of a patient’s heart attack, and to identify which patients need extra treatment to prevent them from happening again.
Over 80,000 patients are admitted to hospital for a heart attack each year in the UK. This condition is caused by narrowing and blockages in blood vessels to the heart which develop gradually over many years. These can suddenly worsen and block the blood supply to an area of the heart, though this can often be treated. Most patients have lots of different areas of narrowing in their vessels, however -currently-used tests are not good at identifying which of these caused a particular heart attack, or is likely to cause one in the future.
Our group has developed a new way of looking at changes in fat near the heart blood vessels, by using a computer trained to look at images from Computed Tomography Coronary Angiography scans. This might be able to help identify which narrowings are responsible for heart attacks or might cause them in the future, as well as predicting the overall risks of a further heart attack. However we need to do larger trials with more patients to confirm whether this is a really a useful test.
Design and Methods
In this study, we will identify patients who have had a heart attack, and then measure changes in the Fat Attenuation Index during the course of their treatment. We will then compare all these measurements in similar patients known to have narrowings of their vessels, but who have not had heart attacks, to see if there is any difference.
We will then try to train a computer program to detect which narrowing is responsible for a heart attack in a given patient. To do this, we will use two sets of images of previous patients whom we know later went on to have a heart attack. We will use one set to train a computer program to detect the responsible narrowing, and the other set to test whether this program really works.
We will also examine the potential effect of using the Fat Attenuation Index on the cost of assessing patients with heart attacks, and on whether changes in treatment due to using the FAI compared with other tests reduced the overall cost and use of healthcare resources.
We will use our department, University of Oxford channels and online resources (including websites, social media, and press releases) to spread our findings to a wide audience. I will also present the results at scientific conferences and publish it in scientific journals. In addition to this I will also use the British Heart Foundation and the patient groups developed during my research to publicise our results.
Payment will be made for later stages of involvement e.g. involvement on project steering committee
This will cover travel and expenses, and depending on whether or not the grant is successful, money towards time spent on the project
As soon as possible - involvement can be specfic, brief and episodic if preferred, or ongoing and wide ranging. The project is based around a PhD, which will last around 4 years.
Emergency Department, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Dr Alex Novak
Consultant in Emergency Medicine and Ambulatory Care
Senior Research Fellow in Emergency Medicine