The aim of the Cardiovascular theme is to refine risk stratification and management of patients with cardiovascular disease (CVD), using our experimental medicine infrastructure, expertise in clinical trials, and the bioresources/prospective cohorts that have been built or enhanced by theme investigators.
Innovation is at the forefront of the theme’s activities, particularly with regard to the development, validation and implementation of novel diagnostic techniques, including non-invasive imaging applications and intravascular measurements in patients with cardiac and cerebrovascular disease.
Unique cohorts developed locally by the theme investigators (e.g. OxAMI, OxVALVE and the Oxford Heart Vessels and Fat Bioresource) as well as our significant contribution to large national cohorts (notably to the UK Biobank Imaging & ECG Monitoring Studies) will have tremendous impact on our mechanistic understanding of CVD and will provide shared bioresources for years to come.
In the therapeutic arena, the Oxford CV community discovery pipeline provides the rationale for testing novel interventions in proof of principle studies, while trials methodologists, in collaboration with health economists, develop and test innovative study designs and intervention delivery strategies.
The Oxford BRC coordinates the NIHR-BHF Cardiovascular Partnership, a national network of leading experts in cardiovascular science and medicine. These experts from across the NIHR and British Heart Foundation research centres work together to accelerate translation of promising research into benefits for patients.
The work of the Cardiovascular theme is focussed around three main aims:
Aim 1: Novel tools for understanding the natural history and refining risk stratification in acute vascular syndromes.
Aim 2. Partnerships for evidence-based management and risk-stratification of patients with atrial fibrillation (AF).
Aim 3. Understanding disease heterogeneity and testing novel agents in acquired and inherited cardiomyopathies.
- Acute cardiovascular syndrome: The OxAMI cohort is enabling research into better diagnostic techniques and improved treatments for heart disease.
- Acute stroke: The AMICI Study develops, validates and implements novel MRI sequences and analysis methods for patients with acute stroke.
- Carotid surgery: The ACST-2 study is assessing the impact of carotid surgery on dementia.
- Subarachnoid haemorrhage: Researchers are developing and validating neuromarkers to guide therapy in patients with subarachnoid haemorrhage.
- Arrhythmia: Researchers are identifying and validating new causal risk factors and therapeutic targets for atrial fibrillation, as well as investigating the relationship between stroke and atrial fibrillation.
- Valvular heart disease: This sub-theme aims to address neglected areas of clinical practice in valvular heart disease by investigating the prevalence of valve disease, identifying patients at risk and limiting disease progression.
- AdipoRedOx study: Researchers are investigating the mechanisms by which the fat tissue, the vascular wall and the heart muscle interact and aim to explore whether aspects of this interaction can predict patient outcomes.
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and heart failure: Researchers aim to identify biomarkers underpinning differences in disease progression and build local and international cohorts/bioresources to improve our understanding of the disease and more accurately evaluate individual responses to treatment.
- Prevention: The theme aims to evaluate the impact of early gestational age, maternal complications, and raised blood pressure in the young on brain and cardiac structure.